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TALES 



BY 



THE O'HARA FAMILY. 



SECOND SERIES. 



COMPRISING 



THE NOWLANS, AND PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



-" Farewell the plumed troop and the big wars." 

Othello. 



IN THftEE VOLUMES. 



VOL. III. 



LONDON: 

HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

1826. 



THE MEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 

784140 

ASTOR, LENOX^ND 
TILD&N FOUNDATIONS 
H 1917 



a 



* ' ► • # « ,« • *• • 






• - •• « • » 



LONDON 
PRINTED BY S. AND R. BBNTLEY, DORSET -STREET. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



VOL. III. a 2 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



CHAPTER I. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



" There is a time for all things," saith the 
proverb ; and while this is taken to mean that 
there are distinct times proper to all the various 
acts we have to perform, we presume it further 
permits the same thing to be done at different 
times in different places. For instance : — 

The month of May, with its flowers, and 
its soft breeze, and its mild sun, is generally 
allowed to be the best season for young, ardent 
love, to blossom, and, from its novelty and 
freshness, to yield the purest delight. And yet 
we are aware of another season/ in our own 
marrying country, when, tired of their gambols 

VOL. III. B 



2 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

round the winter fire-side, weary even of their mu- 
tual devotions, and, as it were, miserable at their 
happiness, love leads his votaries, manacled, 
'two by two, before the throne of Hymen, in pro- 
cessions so long and crowded as to create much 
squeezing and elbowing on the road ;— alas ! 
that the despotic divinity should so often prove 
ungrateful for the services of his laughing pur- 
veyor I — that he should so often bang his cham- 
ber door against the terrified little god of love, 
leaving him to fly away self-convicted of the 
folly of providing subjects for one so thankless ! 
— But that is not our present business. 

Lent, the chief time of fast and abstinence 
among Roman Catholic people, sets in, upon 
an average, (for it is a " moveable" period,) to- 
wards the end of February. During its continu- 
ance, marriage, along with many other savoury 
indulgences, cannot lawfully be attained ; and, 
as a positive forbearance of six or seven weeks 
seems too hard a trial, merely, perhaps, because 
it is a forced probation, a great movement of 
the middle and lower orders, male and female, 
takes place some time before; that is, during the 
Reason termed " Shrovetide,' 1 or, as oar coun- 
trymen and countrywomen call it, " Shroft," 
so that the Irish Hymen is, conjointly with his 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 3 

more serious divinityship, the god of pancakes 
also. 

As this great time approaches, the influx into 
country towns of rural belles, and, as a matter 
of course, of rural beaux, is very remarkable ; 
the former, with their best beaver-hats, (articles 
of superior fashion) cocked after the smartest 
taste, or their caps set on with a peculiar air ; 
their best smiles on their rosy lips; and their 
witching glances plainly understood by the op- 
posite files to mean — " who wants a wife." Nor 
do u the boys" repair to this meeting uncon- 
scious of a motive, or negligent of the proofs 
of one. The most flaming waistcoats are pro- 
vided; new corderoy small-clothes, with gilt 
buttons, (not always used for the purpose they 
have been put in, for they are left to swing 
open at the knees, agitating their long silk 
strings;) well-fitting stockings ; and — the brogues 
kicked off on the occasion — small-pointed shoes, 
all showing, to the greatest advantage, the ex- 
cellent leg and instep : while the hat set at one 
side, a roguish leer, an ostentatious display of 
person, whether " rollicking," or snug, or well- 
rigged to suit all tastes, are distinguishing signs 
to the fair critics, that " such, or such, have a 
notion of taking on" at the coming Shroft. 

b2 



4 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Former courtships are renewed ; new ones are 
ontered upon ; and they may be seen dividing 
in pairs, with their respective adherents, towards 
the public-house ; the girls at first demurring, 
through well-acted timidity ; yet, after much 
coaxing and pressing, kindly yielding to " take 
the treat ;" alive as^ any of their betters to the 
great axiom of women's nature, that a conquest 
at a first attack is but indifferently valued. 

If old folk happen to be stingy, the girls 
who can do it now embezzle " mescaums o'but- 
ther," "mauleens o'corn," " hanfuls o- praties," 
or <c glaums o* wool," to be disposed of, under 
the rose, at the market ; and with the proceeds 
of this contraband trade, throng to the riband- 
shops, where, if two or three from the 'same 
neighbourhood, and upon the same all-important 
errand, happen to meet, they may be observed, 
to the seller's cost, pondering, and consulting,' 
and hesitating, and whispering, before a choice 
of the most destructive colour can possibly be 
made out of the variety before them ; or, when 
things have come to a serious pass, the mother, 
and two or three old cronies, will accompany 
them, with an ample purse, to conduct more 
important bargains ; and then money flies libe- 
rally, while many little stratagems are used that 



PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 5 

the sagacious shopman or shopwoman may not 
guess (what is easily conjectured) the exact 
purpose for which such unusual finery is pro- 
cured: a secret the old dame tries to keep to 
herself, lest advantage should be taken of the 
admission in the price of the article, and which 
"" the young thing" hides " because it is man- 
nerly to do so." 

Now is the time when the fair ones, who 
hav« previously been courted and flattered to 
little purpose, are expected to " lave off their 
thricks an' their quare ways,* and give the 
long-expected, and, indeed, long-intended, yes, 
or sha asthore, as the case may be ;— Hnen tally 
adding, after all their little coquetry, (as one 
among them acknowledged to us, on a recent 
occasion) — " thankee for axin/" Now is the 
time when fathers who have sons or daughters 
to settle in the world, meet in the little village 
public-house, and, " Darby, that *s a clane, 
comely colleen belongin' to you," commences 
many a treaty which is discussed over a pot of 
ale. And then comes the assembling of all par- 
ties the next market-day, wiien the money-mat- 
ters are talked over " to the very far then, an» 
to the farthen itoelf," betwixt the old men, 
with as much cool calculation as distinguishes 



O PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

the diplomacy of their superiors on similar oc- 
casions ; while the mothers, taking in hand an- 
other branch of the subject, discourse of th^ 
natural or acquired, the mental or personal per- 
fections of the young couple. By one, the ex- 
pert housewifery of the girl is set forth ; " her 
nate, cool hands for makin' the butther;" the 
pieces of linen (to go in as part of her " portion") 
brought by her to " the blache" last season, and 
wrought with a thrifty foresight to the wants 
of a future establishment, whether we consider 
sheeting, or articles of male and female wear; in 
fact, all the young woman's useful accomplish- 
ments and habits are stated, and, as the tale 
comes from a mother's tongue, it cannot much 
be wondered at if, now and then, there occur a 
little exaggeration. And the other old dame 
displays, perhaps, with some slight decorations, 
also, her son's excellencies ; his industry, late 
and early ; his knowledge of his business, in all 
its branches of plowing, sowing, reaping, mow- 
ing, stacking, threshing; his good-nature and 
good-humour; his spirit; his manly feats at 
running, or leaping, or hurling, or wrestling; 
nay, the eulogist may, with sparkling eyes, even 
hint his skill at cudgel or alpeen ; and, in what 
they call u a pig's whisper,"— (that is, a confi- 



PKTKE OF THE CASTLE. 7 

dentiaL tone, meant, as it were, for one particular 
ear, while all around can hear it, if they will) — 
a few anecdotes of his prowess and conquests 
in this way may be thrown into the scale, as a 
make-weight. 

All this while, placed in the back-ground, in 
a shady corner, where distance and twilight 
hide the blushes of the one, and give secrecy to 
the speech or acts of the other, the young cou- 
ple, the conscious subjects of this pro and con, 
sit — if they like each other — " coortin' away, 
foe the bare life ;" or if, on the contrary, the 
match happen to be one of mere speculation and 
convenience, got up by the old people, and in- 
different to them, they sit, at a shy distance, on 
the same form, staring at each other, and half 
resolving to upset every arrangement, and, in 
recollection of a " boy or girl of their own," 
have every thing their owfl way. 

Many there are — ("alas, poor country !")-*— 
and those even the greater number, whose ma- 
trimonial treaties are arranged without any such 
debating ; whose pecuniary resources are almost 
confined to the soggartKs fee ; who will be ne- 
cessitated to move, by many pitiful stories, his 
christian compassion, or will even invent some 
melancholy untruth, that he way be induced to 



8 PETER OP THE CASTLE. 

perform the ceremony at an under price, and 
leave them a shilling towards the stock for the 
scanty wedding-feast. The rest they trust to 
Providence ; and,* sooner than permit the long 
Lent to pass over their heads in celibacy, offer 
their hands for the manacle with as jovial a 
grace, as much precipitancy, and as good a 
hope of passing a pleasant honey-moon, as if 
they were certain of two days' victuals after the 
bridal night, or as if their progeny were to be 
the heritors of abundance, kindliness, and com- 
fort, not of poverty, neglect, and wretched- 
ness. 

Nor is it the country atmosphere alone that 
prompts to matrimonial movements, as the 
Shrovetide comes on. The self-same inspiration 
pervades the town air. In our considerable 
town, at least, Shrovetide is generally under- 
stood to mean the season for maids to become 
wives, and bachelors to change their con- 
dition. 

There are, we believe, in all such communi- 
ties as we speak of, regular visiting folks, of 
both sexes, necessary to the comforts of the stay- 
at-home part of the population, as carriers of 
news, true or false, and circulators of the petty 
tattle so acceptable to the ever-craving appetite 



P1STER OF THE CASTLE. ' 9 

of curiosity, and who are, therefore, welcome 
visitors almost wherever they go. Among this 
class of persons, elderly maids and bachelors, 
possessing small annuities, just sufficient to 
keep up a decent appearance out of doors, yet 
too scanty for their comfort at home, form a 
considerable portion* To them, a cup of tea in 
the evening, with, if they be of the male sex, the 
addition of a glass of the good beverage, whisky 
punch, is very acceptable ; hence, finding it their' 
interests to render themselves agreeable, they 
take good care to come furnished to the fire- 
sides of their friends with ready answers to the 
questions most suitable to every season; and 
none of them will deny that, as pancake-day 
draws near, they find it peculiarly necessary to 
keep an eye on the motions, and to dive into 
the resolves of the marriageable persons around 
them, in order to appear fully prepared for the 
universal query — ( * what weddings are going 
on ?"— Indeed, and by-the-way, the very kind 
of individuals we mean sometimes supply, in 
their own persons, and apart from their infor- 
mation about others, more direct evidence of the 
benign influence of this period. From among 
their throng, even maids of long standing and 
bachelors of ancient growth, step out »with a 

b 5 



10 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

Hvelier grace ; wax unusually brisk and mettle- 
some; sport new "fronts," selected for the oc- 
casion, or new wigs, of the recollected colour of 
their locks, what time the mother's care had 
smoothed' and polished the boy's ringlets ; and 
look about them, and trot in the direction where 
fellow-feelings prevail, full of pleasing ideas, and 
the half-forgotten music of early life again ting- 
ling in their ears ;— and we are happy to add 
that, even in their regard, and always consider- 
ing them bound to choose among themselves, 
the season does not invariably prove inauspi- 
cious. 

Staid citizens, fathers, and uncles, who have 
previously taken an account of stock, ascer- 
tained the tot of the ledger balance-sheet, 
and withdrawn their daughter's or their niece^s 
portion from the perils of business, begin to 
cast a cautious eye around; make under-hand 
inquiries as to how their young male neighs 
hours stand in the world, and become close 
spies on their actions;- and when a youth of 
substance and character is at last selected, their 
cordial recognition of him as he passes then- 
door, or meets them m the street, or in a 
friend's house, is easily interpreted into, " Son- 
in-law, how do you do ?" 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 11 

Youngish men, who have made improvable 
establishments, and to whom the entry, " Stock. 
Dr. Cash," would be a pleasing item, divest 
their features of their very sober cast, brighten 
them up with a holy-day air, employ the most 
esteemed fashioners, assume the cavalier, seat 
themselves on horseback with as much grace as 
is possible, or, if not with grace, at least with 
an affected recklessness of the dreaded results 
of their new situation ; put " money n* both 
pockets," and set off to scour the adjacent 
country in search of wires— at a gallop, if they 
can attempt it with safety, or even a little 
daring; velioctty of movement being esteemed 
as most m character with the gaiety of wooers. 
But these doughty knights-errant will scarce 
ever be seen entering, with their ** God save all 
here," where the eld chest or the old cow's horn 
is known to be empty. With them, love is " rto 
welcome customer," unless he come into the shop 
with a money bag on his back, prepared to fling 
it on the counter, or pour it into " the till ;" so 
laden, they are happy to see him; empty-handed 
he may stay outside ; and then any young wo- 
man, no great matter whom, burthened in a 
similar way, will be as well received* without 
him. 



i 






12 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Novelty is a prevailing charm for human 
eyes ; and young maidens who have stepped 
into a town on market-days, to delight them- 
selves with the brilliancy of its shops and its 
streets, sometimes prefer, therefore, a towns- 
man to a mere rustic sweetheart ; and when 
such a one, as has last been described, comes, 
careering at a gallant pace towards the farm- 
house, in the proper season for such a visit, 
they seldom fail to guess the motive of his 
journey. The fair and conscious object of at- 
traction will, on this occasion, be posted, co- 
vertly, at a casement; behind her the vanithee; 
still more behind, the nurse; and, over the 
shoulders of all, elevated on a three-legged 
stool, perhaps the serving wench: each eager 
to witness the dashing advance of the candi- 
date for favour, and to applaud or criticise, as 
the case may be. 

If fair young city-virgins now_ observe sig- 
nificant movements in the visits of father and 
mother out of doors, or become aware, with- 
out seeming to be at all aware, that unusual 
consultations are going forward, they hope and 
trust, and pray, morning and evening, that 
from somebody of whom they dreamt the last 
All-hallow-Eve, overtures have been received. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 13 

Now serving-maids quit one state of servitude, 
only to' enter suddenly upon another, not so 
easily to be got rid of at a " warning ;" now 
apprentices, commiting a breach of that part 
of their indentures which binds them not to 
enter the matrimonial state till the expiration 
of their long seven years, steal out of an even- 
ing, get married, steal back behind the counter 
next morning, and out again at a window when 
" the shop is shut." Desperate run-away 
matches are daily heard of, precipitated by 
the not-always-successful endeavours to marry 
young people against their inclinations, or else 
by the impatient love that despairs of parental 
forbearance, and shrinks at the long period of 
' privation between " Ash Wednesday" and Easter 
Sunday. 

As story-tellers, we must be supposed rather 
closely to regard human nature, and motives to 
action, in order to understand the value of oc- 
currences around us; certainly we have learn- 
ed to divine, almost to a nicety, the state of 
thought indulged, as Shrovetide comes on, by 
all our acquaintance, and even by those with 
whom we are only casually civil or conversant. 
The never-failing, though, perhaps, newly-as- 
sumed smile, so soft, so constant, so bewitching, 



14 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

of a fair friend ; the manner so determinedly 
obliging; these symptoms — particularly if an 
emendation upon usual habits — we take as proof 
that first preliminaries are arranged for the 
grand step ; that she has learned as much from 
her parents, and that she is content to venture 
upon a new character, before Shrove-Tuesday, if 
she can be pleased with an offer. 

When, with a short hurried step, indicating a 
desire to reach a given point as soon as possible ; 
with downcast eyelids, sometimes allowing to 
escape around, an unquiet, timid glance, expres- 
sive of a certain sensitive fearfulness that people 
are looking at her, and speaking of her, as she 
goes along ; when, showing these symptoms, a 
pretty, modest, flurried little creature crosses 
our calm observant path, we at once conclude, 
and half sigh with, we believe, a kind of re- 
flected pleasure at the conclusion, that she has 
yielded, very lately ,-a blushing promise to make 
her chosen youth all the happier of this happy 
time. . 

If we see nothing singular, nothing unusual 
in a young woman ; nothing but the decently- 
measured tread ; nothing but the every-day port, 
or only the old smile, common to a handsome 



PRTEE OF THE CASTLE. .15 

face ; then we judge that matters are not in train 
that season. 

We are quick to discern the sneer which, 
more positively than ever, agitates the features 
of often-disappointed spinsters, as they descant 
on the prospects and pretensions of some who 
are about to attain the envied rank of matronly 
consideration: and just as quick to note the 
proud ostentatious bearing of others of the 
same standing, who have been successful in the 
grand object of the day, and are at length on 
the eve of being of consequence in the world, 
notwithstanding the long forebodings of their 
friends, and the terrible apprehensions of their 
own bosoms. 

We have learned, on the other hand; to judge 
by the more than usual attention to personal 
appearances of an industrious youngster ^ by his 
studied suavity, and by his skilful disguise of 
whatever of the unamiable we have previously 
noted in his character, that he is " on the look- 
out w From the junction of bustle and brisk- 
ness, in another, of hurry and good-humour, of 
an important manner, and yet a growing dispo- 
sition to say smart things, we set down that he 
is preparing his affairs for the spectacled criti-^ 



16 fcETKB OF THE CASTLE. 

cism of some cool examiner who has a fair 
charge to dispose of: or, he is taking measures, 
perhaps, to leave things in such a train that, 
with propriety, he may be absent for a space, 
after the ceremony, supposing him of sufficient 
consequence to aim at throwing off the good old 
custom of wedding-cheer and bridal dance, and, 
conformably with the fashionable scale, take a 
scamper for the honey-moon to the metropo- 
lis, where he can link gentility and pleasure 
with business, and (his wife's portion in his 
pocket-book,) purchase a fresh stock of goods, 
to be home a day or two before he returns to 
the shop. 

We know why the sleek new suit is shyly 
mounted by him who has worn the former one 
time out of mind. We know why the elderly 
person, who has waited till about his forty-fifth 
year for a meet recurrence of the season, smooths 
down his hair with unwonted precision, and is 
seen every evening, after the hour of business, 
stepping out with — even should there be no 
cloud — an umbrella tucked under his arm, and 
cautiously entering one certain house. 

If we see painters and carpenters, and uphol- 
sterers and paper-hangers, going into a bache- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 17 

lor's mansion, they give " notes of prepara* 
tion." 

If a young man of sober habits be detected 
with a song-book, or a jest-book laid on the leaf 
of his day-book, it is a sign of considerable rest- 
lessness at the approaching season. But if such 
a person be observed, at the age of thirty, skip- 
ping secretly into the private room of a dancing- 
master, there can no longer be a question but 
that he is about to caper out of the state of 
celibacy. . 

And should we meet, in one of our accustomed 
out-let walks," some fair young girl whom we 
once knew blooming arid bounding in health, 
but now pale, drooping, arid sad ; her eye shorn 
of the laughing ray that often flung pleasure 
over our path ; her native elastic step changed 
into a cheerless drooping gait ; in fact, her 
usual appearance and character lost in the dull 
languor ' that heart-sickness throws over fea- 
tures and person ; should such a being happen 
to pass us in our lonely promenade, we conclude 
that Shrovetide brings no joy to her ; that either 
the youth slie doats on is torn from her, or that 
before the season lapses, parental tyranny will 
force her into the arms of some wretch she 
loaths; that avarice has grasped the shrinking 



18 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

hand which would fain yield to the soft pres- 
sure of affection; and, instead of the silken 
bonds of true-love, that a chain, not the less 
ponderous because its links are of gold, is about 
to be fastened round the breaking heart ; — from 
such a study, such are our conclusions; for, 
imitating the enterprise of the bland and de- 
lightful Master Crayon, we hare the courage to 
proclaim that we, too, are believers in " broken 
hearts," 

Shrovetide is the Soggarth's harvest ; his sea- 
son of pleasing because most profitable labour; 
his draught of fishes ; his time of gathering in 
the vineyard. The antique grim-faced knocker 
of his door, painted, time out of mind, the colour 
of the door itself, sounds, from morning to 
evening, many a bold, many a timid, and many 
a thundering summons, as the case may be, from 
those who come to announce intended weddings, 
at which he is, fortunately for him, so indispen- 
sable an agent. His housekeeper, — generally 
some humble relation, or some " forbidding- 
looking ould woman," of whom the very first 
view silences the tongue of scandal, and com- 
pels peeping suspicion to turn away his keen 
eye to some more plausible and inviting object- 
such a one, we say, the priest's housekeeper, 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 19 

must be constantly on the alert to answer the 
scarcely-heard knock of the poor couple who 
come to be married in the parlour, without even 
the full fee on such occasions, and who dream 
not of bride-cake or wedding-supper; or the 
rather bolder peal of those who call to invite the 
priest to celebrate the marriage at the house of 
the bride's father, damping however the good 
man's rising hopes, and the ardour of his assent, 
when they add, that " poor people must have 
poor weddings;" — and, again, and best of all, 
the long-resounding tantarrara which distinctly 
prefaces the summons of the wealthy farmer or 
citizen, who, with an air of self-importance, 
arrives to intimate the coming nuptials of his 
daughter, and at whose instance the priest smi- 
lingly promises a punctual attendance, antici- 
pating rows behind rows of rich folk, each ready 
to lay down a pound note, at least, in exchange 
for a portion of the magical bride-cake. 

If the priest be, to say nothing more, even a 
clever man, it will palpably be his business as 
well to prevent the possibility of a close ac- 
quaintance (unless by authority) between the 
sexes, as to promote, so far as in his power lies, 
every disposition to enter the holy marriage 
state. Accordingly, he must have his eye about 



20 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

him; watching the growth of his fair young pa- 
rishioners into a marriageable maturity ; glanc- 
ing, here and there, for proper husbands to match 
them; and then, towards Shrovetide, he may 
hint his observations to all parties concerned, 
young and old, and conclude the business to the 
satisfaction of all, and to his own benefit. 

Shrovetide brings grist to the mill of the fol- 
lowers of many other trades and occupations. 
The pastry-cook, or, to use a more local name, 
the confectioner, prepares the dainty bridal cake 
for the city wedding. The baker manufactures 
the more ponderous mass, " baugheen brigola? — 
the loaf or cake with fruit in it, — for the country 
feast, at which a crowd is to participate, who 
reckon on a good substantial slice for their mo- 
ney. Of the former, only small pieces are dis- 
tributed, too delicate to be eaten, but sacredly 
treasured up to be dreamt upon— (if passed 
through the bride's ring, all the better,) — by the 
sighing maiden, who hopes, through its talis- 
manic power, to conjure round her midnight 
couch of virgin innocence the adoring and adored 
shade of him, who, under Heaven, may, the very 
next Shrovetide, put it in her own power to en- 
dow a cake with the same effects, for the benefit 



PKTEIT OF THE CASTLE. 21 

of her former companions left behind her in the 
shadow of the valley of maidenhood. 

As it must be pretty certain that a bridegroom 
who can get "married in a new suit will not re- 
tain his old clothes, tailors' shears are, of course, 
kept clipping more constantly than at other sea- 
sans ; and, for a like reason, dress-makers of all 
grades ply the subtile needle at Shrovetide more 
nimbly, and with lighter hearts than, in our 
town, they can be said to do at any other time 
the year round. Ribands, first, of all colours, 
then, as the season closes, white ribands in par- 
ticular, flutter out at the vendors* doors in gay 
abundance and confusion; and white gloves, 
white silks and satins, white muslins, almost 
every thing white, in fact, are necessarily in equal 
demand. Pipers, fiddlers, itinerant musicians 
of every kind, are on the alert, for it is the sea- 
son of dancing. Beggars post, in tattered droves, 
from one nuptial bower to another, for it is the 
season of feasting and bounty. Nay, and some 
individuals relinquish more reputable occupa- 
tions, but such as, at this season, are less profit-, 
able, to join ,the armies, the hordes of mendi- 
cants, who, according to ancient custom, will 
have shared amongst them the profuse remnants 



22 PKTBE OP THE CASTLE. 

of the wedding feast, and the largess of the wed- 
ding guests. 

In a word, Shrovetide, in Ireland, is a time 
of unusual stir, bustle, and earnestness; a time 
of general consciousness and common sensations; 
a time when the thoughts and hearts, male and 
female, of a whole community labour and throb 
with but one notion, and, however it may be 
diversified, one feeling; a time of sighing and 
speech-making; of capering, of kissing, of pi- 
ping, fiddling, and singing; of present happi- 
ness, at least, — (we have nothing to do with the 
future) — to almost every one ; and big with in- 
terest and importance to the kingdom at large, 
although with philanthropic dismay and regret 
to Mr. Malthus, and his disciples and students 
in political economy. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 23 



CHAPTER II. 

We regret that, for particular reasons, we 
cannot, as we are used to do, give the name erf 
the district in Ireland in which the scene of the 
present tale is laid ; but it was near to a village 
(that, as we go on, shall be distinguished by 
being called the village,) through which, as well 
as through the whole adjacent country, the time 
of Shrovetide spread its influence, that, about 
fifty years ago, standing at his spacious parlour 
windows, before dinner, the proprietor of an im- 
portant mansion saw, lounging, as if bashfully, 
up the avenue, two rustic persons, one an old, 
the other a youngish man, whom, at a first view, 
he did not know, and for whose uncalled appear- 
ance at such an hour, on a working-day, he was 
puzzled to account. " Who can they be ?* he 
half soliloquized, although another person sat in 
the room, — " not Tady Corrigan, surely, with 



24 PETER OF THE CASTLE, 

the half-years 1 rent ; no, he's scarcely so punctual ; 
nor his gossip, Mike Leary, with any part of the 
two half-years, so long promised ; yet they walk 
straight towards the hall door ; Redmond," turn- 
ing to the individual mentioned, a youth of about 
twenty, who sat listlessly in a chair at the fire, 
and, it might be said, idly too, did not his bent 
brow, as he gazed at the embers, his folded 
arms, and, indeed, the general expression of his 
intelligent features, argue at once a mood of ab- 
straction, merely, and a character of which idle- 
ness could have been no natural portion. " Red- 
mond, who are those people ?" 

The young man slightly started, looked va- 
cantly around, and in a cold tone, asked, 
" Where, Sir ?" His elderly companion as coldly 
directed his regards out at the window ; the 
youth, scarcely rising or glancing down the 
avenue, said he did not know who they were. 

" I think one of them is Patt Lynch, that 
bought the timber of Kilaldy wood last week. 
How much of that account has he left unpaid, 
Sir?" again addressing the lad. 

" Who, Sir ? what account ? — * 

With some cautious asperity, and a remark 
that his thoughts might, perhaps, be better en- 
gaged, and yet sufficiently alive to afford more 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 25 

attention, the senior renewed his statement and 
his question ; but still gained little information, 
The youth was sorry to say, he really knew no- 
thing of the state of that particular account ; 
indeed, to tell the truth, he believed he had 
quite lost all recollection of it. 

The catechist frowned, askance and unseen, 
at him, bit his lip, and retorted in a measured 
tone, — " Nor of any other business, I fear, Sir, 
which I have trusted into your hands ; nor of 
any other matter, Sir, fitted to your precarious 
situation in life; to your pretensions or your 
prospect s." 

" What that situation, and those pretensions 
really are, Sir, you know best," answered the 
person thus animadverted upon, coolly and 
gloomily, and laying an expressive emphasis on 
the word " really ." 

" I do, young gentleman," said the other, 
nodding slowly at him,—" and, for the pur- 
pose of rousing you to a due sense of the 
efforts you are bound to make in the world, 1: 
have been compelled, much against my nature, 
and my feelings for you, to explain, over and 
over, that delicate question." 

" And I have been thinking, all this morn- 
ing, of asking you to explain it once again, . Sir, 

vol. in. c 



26 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

when you may be at leisure to give me a little 
more information. » 

" Indeed, Sir ?" with another unseen sneer — 
" but no matter ; I am at your service at all 
times ; and, perhaps, the sooner we conclude the 
subject the better for both.* 

" Perhaps," said the lad:—" and now, Sir," 
drawing to the window, " I can tell you who 
those poor men are ; Darby Roach, and his el- 
dest son, who rent the fifty hill-acres from you 
at Poulnamana.*' 

" What, in Heaven's name, brings them here 
to-day? — no whining case of hardship, I hope: 
and now, what ails them ?" — for, as he spoke, the 
old man, Darby Roach, having at last come near 
enough to recognize the amply-puffed and highly 
powdered head of " the masther," in the par- 
lour window, strongly contrasted as it was to a 
complete suit of black, worn, wjth rather a pro- 
fessional air, over a middle-sized, substantial 
figure; Darby, werepeat, having distinctly caught 
this indication that the very eyes of the great 
person he wanted to see were fastened on him, first 
stopped to make a scrape and bow, to pull off 
his hat, and put it on again; then tuddenly 
changed his hitherto lounging gate into a quick 
one, which, gradually increasing as he approached 
the house, at last ended in a run, as brisk as 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 27 

any man oi sixty could command upon occasion. 
His son, as he has been described, remained be. 
hind him, holding his hat in his hand, and look- 
ing on the ground with a bashful and conscious 
smile. 

Sweeping by the steps of the hall door, 
the father soon presented himself outside 
the window, and, stopping there, renewed his 
scrapes and bows, now addressed to both the 
gentlemen in the parlour, and accompanied by 
broad grins, of such a kind as bespoke earnest- 
ness in a very interesting and, withal, a very 
tickling subject. 

" Well, honest Darby, and what's the matter 
with you to-day ?" said "the masther," answer- 
ing his looks and motions, rather than asking a 
question. The old man grew serious. 

" Why, then, your honour, nothin* at all; 
only it's what sends us to you, to-day, is about a 
gor^oon of ours, an* somethin' that's goin' to hap- 
pen to him, we' believe." 

" Well ?— - 1 thought, just now, when you 
both looked so troubled, that something had 
happened to him ; that, perhaps, Cushneiche # 
and the Yellow Sailor had paid you a visit, and 
borrowed all you had towards the next gale 

* Swift-ftxrt. 
c 2 



28 F£T£K OF THE CASTLE. 

day ;"— alluding to the leader and subaltern of a 
celebrated gang of highwaymen and house rob- 
bers, then the terror of the surrounding coun- 
try. 

" No, then, Sir ; nothing o' the kind ; an 1 if 
Cushneiche came, may be he wouldn't rise the 
thrifle so asy." 

" Then Dick has got into some scrape or 
other ?" 

" Throth no, Sir ; no scrape in life ; only — 
Ristharde !" — calling and beckoning to his son, 
— " only, your honour, it 's where we war comhV 
this mornin, was to ax your adwice on the head 
o' getting the goryoon we tould you of — mar- 
red ;" letting the word at last slip out, half in 
confidence, half shyly, as it were. 

" Oh; which of the lads do you mean, 
Darby ?* 

" Musha, then, Sir, the boy is to the fore, 
only the shyness arf the shame wotft let him 
show himself forenent you :— -Ristharde f* rais- 
ing his voice, and increasing his gesticulation — 
" Musha, Ristharde ! you ownshuck o'the di- 
vil, come here, I tell you." - 

Slowly and sheepfacedly advanced Ris- 
tharde, a big man (notwithstanding his father's 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 29 

appellation) of more than thirty years of age, 
clad in his working clothes, much the worse of 
the wear ; loosely wrapped in the great blue 
Irish top-coat ; and still holding his head down, 
and twirling his " caubeen" between his hands. 
He seemed fresh out of the mire of a fallow- 
field lately drenched in rain; his attire, his 
brogues, his gigantic hands, crusted with the 
soil ; nay, however he had contrived it should 
happen, his strong, " raven hair v had also be- 
come smeared and clotted with wet clay, which, 
either from profuse perspiration, or a smart 
shower, subsequently resolved itself into a 
liquid state, and now ran in streaks down his 
face. Bashfully, we have said, this graceful 
bridegroom came on at his father's repeated 
summons ; apparently as bashful, indeed, as a 
green-horn of seventeen placed in the same situ- 
ation, and feeling himself, from tender years and 
unimportance in the world, unfitted to it ; yet 
some of this excessive modesty and mopishness 
might not have been quite so natural to Ris- 
tharde as he was willing people should think. 

" Ha, Dick — so, you are for a change ?" — 
resumed " the masther," when " the boy" was at 
last " to the fore." 



30 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Sorrow 's the much myself knew about it. 
Sir," answered Ristharde, " until about half an 
hour agone, when my father came into the field, 
an 1 tould me it was all settled, an' axed me to 
throw down the spade an' go with him, face to 
face, to the colleen herself, an' stop a start on 
the road, an' tell you the news, Sir. 4 " 

" Well; I'm obliged by your visit; but do 
you think you are fine enough, Dick, for your 
other visit, — to the sweetheart?" 

" Sorrow a bit but I think I am, Sir ; sure 
we won't be for cajoulin the poor colleen with 
the Sunday clothes on us, but let her see us as 
we are, in the week days, for the year round." 

" Very fair and honourable. Who is the girl, 
Dick ?" 

" Musha, Sir, she's the daughter o'one Mickle 
Tobin, Sir : a clane, clever colleen, though we 
say it that shouldn't," answered Darby : " a girl 
o'tbe Tobins; the Tobins o'the Hill; dacent 
people ; an' as nate a girl as ever dhruv a slip of a 
pig to a fair: sure your honour knows them we 



mane." 



" I do; you speak of Kitty Tobin, foster- 
sister to Mr. Redmond, here ?" 

" No doubt bud you have her, Sir ; the 
self same for all the world : an' so, Sir" — he 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 31 

stopped, looked down, then askance on Ris- 
tharde, and, sidling to him, began to eljbow the 
bridegroom to speak for himself. 

" Musha, asy, father, asy," whispered Ris- 
tharde. 

" Asy, yoUy I tell you, you big bosthoon," 
Darby broke out, " an' tell Square Pratt, wid 
your own ugly mouth, what 's the rason 6* your 
comin'' here at all." 

" Why, then, just to ax his honour's par- 
don for giving him the invite to the wedding 
God bless him; atf what else \id bring me 
here?" at last said Ristharde, courageously. 

"Yes, your honour, that's it, " added Dar- 
by, bowing and grinning. 

" Well, Dick, 1 11 be your guest." 

" Thankee, Sir, an* long life to you : an' the 
young misthress, Sir,— God preserve her kind 
heart an* her comely face ! — Miss Nelly, Sir- 
sure you wouldn't be for lavin her but, when 
it 's to her, above all the ladies in the parish, 
poor Kitty 'ill be comitf, I 'm thinkin', for some 
o' the convaniencies o' the white dhress, an' other 
things, for the weddin 1 ? musha, our hearts \id 
be heavy without her." 

" Miss Pratt will be happy to oblige you and 
Kitty, in any way, I answer for't, Dick. v 



32 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

« Thankee again, Sir;* put in Darby; " an' 
sure we Ye thryin' to get her aq'ls, at laste, to 
sit forenent her, Sir, at the weddin'; there's 
the sthrange lord's daughther— it's a lord, or 
barrow-knight, or somethin' after that manner, I 
believes they calls him— an' she's his daughther, 
or a sisther's child, any how ; — there's her, Sir, 
that was so good to us, along wid Miss Nelly, 
when your honour stayed that long start out o' the 
counthry, an' when the sickness, an' the throu- 
ble of every kind was in the poor cabin ; an' 
sure, tho' it 's not our right, as any of her te- 
nants or her people, to ax the convanience, she 
won't refuse us, out of a good heart, for as 
lofty and as grand as she is." 

" Choose your guests as you like, Darby ; we 
go to oblige you." 

" Och, no fear o' that, Sir — an' there 's the 
ould sthrange lord himself, if we could get a 
hoult of him, 'ud be fit for your own honour to 
make up to — but, musha, little chance of it, 
he's so shy o'comin' out, an' so fond of his 
books, we hear." 

" Then the old count still persists in the life 
of seclusion and bad neighbourhood, which he 
led before I last went to Dublin, Darby." 

" Musha, Sir, more and more; sence the 



PBTEB OF THE CASTLE. 33 

night he come among us, afther buying the 

estate, now two years agone, come next Asther, 

down to this blessed day, not a neighbour, or a 

neighbour's child ever set eyes on him, I blieve, 

barrin' a gorcoon that might be for climbin' up 

the garden wall of an evenin', an' so had a peep 

at his honour, walkin' up an' down, or hiding 

in a summer-house in the corner. But no help 

for that. Hard to dhraw blood from a turnip ; 

an' there's as good fish in the sey as ever was 

caught. Sir; an' so, if your honour has no 

demur to Masther Redmond, there, he'll be 

handy by you, at any rate, an' is'n't to be left 

out for the wide world. " 

"Mr. Redmond answers for himself: — Red- 
mond, what do you say ?" 

During the latter part of this dialogue, the 
person spoken to had turned to the mantel-piece, 
and, leaning his arm on it, relapsed into a fit of 
abstraction. Now quietly looking up, he asked 
to have the question renewed ; it was accord- 
ingly put, a second time, in the best possible 
shape, by Darby and Ristharde together ; but 
the young man answered he was sorry he could 
not attend. While, with half-closed eyes, Mr. 
Pratt looked askance at Redmond, as if to make 
out the motive of. a refusal not to have been an- 

c5 



34 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

ticipated, the bridegroom and his father poured 
forth together, a loud, affectionate, and plaintive 
remonstrance. But with no effect. The youth 
persisted in a polite denial ; and not even the 
reminding him that " sure Kitty was his own 
fosther-sisther," could induce him to withdraw 
it. So, after naming the evening, one a week 
off, upon which they hoped to see Mr. and Miss 
Pratt at their nuptial feast, Darby and Ris- 
tharde bowed themselves away from the window, 
in a manner that showed much disappointment 
and sorrow at their last failure. 

But before the reader is introduced to the rustic 
wedding, partly as humble preparation for which 
the first chapter has been written, he will please 
to follow, with us, the closing of the present 
evening in Mr. Pratt's house. . 

After the suitors had withdrawn, the young 
man resumed his leaning and thoughtful position 
at the mantel-piece, and Mr. Pratt continued to 
stand, his back half turned to him, at the open 
window, looking out upon his ample lawn, as if 
mentally occupied too. Neither spoke a word ; 
and, for some time, neither moved. At last, 
while Redmond still remained motionless, his 
companion turned from the window to an escri- 
toire, unlocked and opened it, and sat down, at 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. &5 

if no one had been present, to look over some 
papers. Candles were brought in ; and again 
there was a silence, not broken until a ser- 
vant, in modest though rich livery, appeared at 
the door to announce dinner. Both gentlemen 
roused themselves, and issued into the drawing- 
room. 

4C Miss Pratt keeps her chamber, and we dine 
alone, Redmond," Said Mr. Pratt, as he sat to 
table. 

" Is Miss Pratt so ill, Sir ?" asked Redmond, 
with the only interest of manner that day ob- 
servable in him* 

" Only a slight headache ; nothing serious ; r 
and dinner went on in silence. It was over; 
the servant motioned out of the room ; and 
Mr. Pratt, after filling his glass, pushed the de- 
canter to Redmond. 

" I'm not inclined to drink wine this evening, 
Sir," pushing it back. 

" Indeed ? that 's a new resolution, Red- 
mond.'" 

" It is, Sir ;" his head was down as he said 
this ; Mr, Pratt measured him with one of his 
peculiar looks, but added nothing. When he 
^was about to fill his glass a second time, " Red- 
mond," he continued, " I didn't think you would 



96 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

have refused to oblige these poor people to-day ; 
may I ask why you cannot accompany us to 
their little wedding ? Something of the same 
reason that keeps you from the glass of good 
claret, I suppose." 

" Much the same, Mr. Pratt : but let us end 
this cross-questioning; I'm tired of it. The 
plain fact is, Sir, I cannot feel, after your infor- 
mation of yesterday, that I have a right any 
longer to revel it at other people's cost, as hi- 
therto I have done : and indeed my resolution 
is almost taken to withdraw myself from this 
place, and try to fashion out, with my own 
hands, whatever lot I am doomed to, rather 
than live— — " 

His voice sunk, and he stopped. His com- 
panion was silent a moment, and then spoke. 
u What is the matter with you, Redmond P— 
I '11 not say you deal unkindly by any one in 
indulging in these fancies; but what do you wish 
me to do? Could I — you force me to ask the 
question— could I have better discharged my 
duty to you, from your childhood to the pre- 
sent hour ? — At school, and at college, you had 
the allowance, as well as the education of a 
gentleman." 

" I know it, Sir, I know it, and am not for- 



\ 

PETER OF THE CASTLE. 87 

getful ; but with the secret you kept from me, 
and half of which you still keep, perhaps all 
that attention was as injudicious as kind. Yes, 
the education and, for the moment, the mainte- 
nance of a gentleman, without the claims of one ; 
that I experienced/' 

" And why not the claims of one, Redmond ? 
The most obscure individual may, in these 
happy countries, rationally propose to himself 
the attainment of the rank and character of a 
gentleman: to talents, honour, and industry, no 
elevation is denied; besides, as my adopted 
son " , 

" Mr. Pratt," interrupted the youth, " tell 
me, in one word, why must I not inquire of 
you the real name and situation of the man 
whom you say was my father? why am I left 
a prey to the horrible doubts your refusal starts 
in my mind?" 

" Now, Redmond, you are in an uneven hu- 
mour, because, on some late occasions, I thought 
it my duty to press a renewal of your studies in 
the honourable profession your own early bias 
preferred, and of which, in my early manhood, I 
was, myself, no disreputable member : but, per- 
haps, I should call your boyish turn for the bar 
a fancy, or a whim, rather than settled inclines 



8$ PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

tion : or, perhaps, the discovery that Blackstone 
wrote poetry—" 

" Pardon me, Sir ; what you insist upon as 
the cause of my present uneven temper, as you 
call it, I do not waste a thought about ; when- 
ever you exhorted me to be studious, I felt you 
meant me well ; and that was all. Fray tell me, 
Mr. Pratt, tell me this, at least — was my parent 
as poor as you say he was unfortunate ? — am I 
absolutely bounden to your charity for my edu- 
cation and bringing up ?" 

" I have before satisfied you on that head, 
Redmond : when, before his death, your father 
committed — that is— sent you to my care, he 
also had conveyed into my hands a sum of mo- 
ney sufficient for sending you to school and col- 
lege, as you ought to be sent, with an overplus 
of about a thousand pounds to assist you in a 
profession.'" 

" Then he was not * unfortunate,' Sir, from a 
very mean lot or station, at least ? did he hold 
the rank of a gentleman, Mr. Pratt P had he 
lands, or a profession, or was he in business ?" 

" Answers to these questions you must ex- 
cuse my giving, Redmond." 

" Again, Sir, I ask— I demand, why ?" 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 99 

" For your own sake— for your own peace of 
mind and respectability." 

" Respectability ! — Sir, you ought to explain, 
now at least — what, Sir J— either my father or 

m 

myself, then— oh ! for God's sake, Mr. Pratt, 
relieve me of this torture — perhaps — perhaps, 
Sir, my birth was dishonourable ?— legally and 
morally dishonourable ?" 

" I do not believe it was." 

" Then to know who my father was— -and to 
have it known I am his son— Maf would destroy 
my peace of mind and respectability? — that is 
the meaning of your term c unfortunate'— my 
father was unfortunate through his own fault 
— through crime— depravity ?" 

" Redmond, it will be useless to continue 
your questions, in any shape, or however modi- 
fied." 

" But, Sir, your silence leaves me to imply, 
as fully as your explanation could, what you 
would have me believe he was." 

" What I would have you believe, boy ? — 
the language you use to me is new." 

(t Perhaps, Sir ; but there are new reasons 
for it" 

u Ay, indeed P 



40 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Sir, I do not believe my father committed 
acts that could disgrace me, his son." 

" And I have never said he did." 

" But, Mr. Pratt, I remark again that you 
leave me to imply as much:— and now pray 
hear me on. Why, until within these few days, 
did you lead me to understand that I was 
the son of a relation, dead in the West In- 
dies ?" 

" For the very reason that now ties up my 
tongue as to the positive identity and character 
of your parent: and I was surprised out of my 
retraction of that story, Redmond — you had 
vexed me by your persevering idleness and in- 
attention to my wishes, and I told you so much 
of the truth as you know, in order to spur 
your pride and vanity to a manly exertion; 
now I must regret having been so imprudent, 
and having given you so much unnecessary 
pain." 

" Then, Sir, I am in no degree related to 
you?" 

" In no degree." 

" And you persist, Mr. Pratt, in withhold- 
ing from me my real condition, my father's real 
condition, when he lived — my real name, in fact 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 41 

—I am not even to receive, at your hands, the 
poor justice of " 

" Foolish boy, curb your passion, and cor- 
rect youlr language. Listen to me. It was 
your father's last request, conveyed to me ." 

" Conveyed to you, Sir ? and I was commit- 
ted to your care ? — did you know my father ? — 
were you personally acquainted with him ?" 

" I never saw him." 

" Indeed, Sir ? and how, then, may I ask, 
did he come to select you as my — guardian ? v 

u Through a mutual friend." 

•« What is that friend's name, Sir?" 

" It were useless to inform you ; for he, too, 
is dead." 

M You, then, Mr. Pratt, are singly acquaint- 
ed with this mystery of my parentage ?" 

" I do not believe any other human being 
shares it with me." 

" And are absolutely determined to hold it 
to yourself, Sir ?" 

" Immoveably determined. Listen, I say. 
It was your parent's last request that his sta- 
tion, character, family, and even name, should 
for ever be concealed from his son." 

" And that, too, Sir, I take leave to doubt : v 
the young man rose from the table, pale, and 



42 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

his eye and manner indicating a strong and ob- 
stinate purpose : he had advanced a few steps, 
as if to address himself to Mr. Pratt in such a 
way as could not be resisted, and that gentleman, 
also rising, had answered his last remark with, 
— " Impertinent and imprudent boy, what do 
you mean ?" — when, suddenly, the youth check- 
ed himself; drew his hand across his face; 
paused ; and when he at last spoke, tears were 
in his eyes, and his broken voice sounded in 
supplication rather than threat. 

" Imprudent I am, Sir, and was about to be 
more so ; but now I implore you to listen to me : 
— I have said new reasons had occurred for my 
present mood ; let me tell you some of them. 
You knew of my chance meeting with Count 
CTRuark, in consequence of which, though 
scarce ever permitted into his company, he in- 
vited me to use his grounds, in shooting or 
coursing, and his. library for reading ; you know 
how very pleasant, nay, how dear, those privi- 
leges were to me; well, Sir; yesterday, just 
before your most painful intimation, I received 
from the Count this note :" he produced one, 
and read aloud, as follows : — 

" Count O'Ruark was very happy to have 
thrown open his house to Mr. Redmond Red- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 48 

mond, as a slight return for the personal service 
received at Mr. Redmond's hands, so long as he 
remained ignorant that a certain imputation had 
been thrown upon Mr. Redmond's birth— which 
imputation — (for Count CTRuark is a plain- 
dealing man,) — it will be well to remove before 
Mr. Redmond again makes his compliments to 
any of the family at Pleasant- view." 

After reading this note, both remained silent 
a moment 

" Whatever the old misanthrope has heard, 1 ' 
at length resumed Mr. Pratt, u must be a false 
and weak rumour ; for, as I before told you, 
Redmond, no second person alive, that I know 
of, except myself, could have circulated the 
truth ; and if I refuse to satisfy you on the sub- 
ject, it is pretty evident I am not likely to sa- 
tisfy others." 

" I did not mean, Sir, to accuse you of being 
the author of this report, whatever it is ; I could 
not mean so ; but thus, you see, the case stands: 
without your concurrence or knowledge, an un- 
defined slur is cast upon^me ; the real history of 
my birth and parentage would at once enable 
me to crush the slander — I am assured it would 
—the blood that runs to throb full at my heart 
when I speak the word, tells me as much. — Im- 



i 



44 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

part to me, then, that real history : I implore 
your assistance, Sir, as a benefit, a mercy ; I ask 
it as an act of humane justice." 

" Are you sure, Redmond, my compliance 
would enable you to accomplish your pur- 
pose ?" 

" Heaven and earth, Sir ! that means it would 
not — it confirms the Count's note — it gives au- 
thority for other slights — sneers, whispers, and 
winks, which, from time to time, I have encoun- 
tered, particularly in that paltry village, yonder ; 
—it says, you too believe I am the son of a de- 
graded man I— does it, Mr. Pratt, does it ?"•— 
the dark side of his temper again lowered out, 
and again he advanced, frowning and threat- 
ening. 

" Redmond, I shall never answer another 
query on the present subject. v 

"Answer this then!" cried Redmond, snatch- , 
ing out of his bosom the fragment of another 
letter, — " but first, Sir, let me remind you 
of a few things. Your excellent wife, Mrs. 
Pratt, has now been dead about two years, as I 
reckon." 

u About two years,* muttered the other, his . 
side-long look trying to fix the scrawl that Red- 
mond kept closed in his grasp. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 45 

" And you were in Dublin when she died in 
this house, Sir ?" 

A cold assent was given. 

" And received letters from her, while in 
Dublin, written upon her death-bed, in this 
house ? yi 

" What can you mean, Sir ?" advancing upon 
him. " What ! have you been spying and pil- 
laging among my papers, youngster ?" 

"Spying and pillaging, Mr. Pratt! — Sir, 
this is new phraseology, indeed, from your lips, 
your guarded, prudent, and bland lips, — quite 
a new view of ypur character " 

" Puppy, cur— give me that paper !" cried 
Mr. Pratt, suddenly stamping his way to him, 
while his eyes flashed and his lips quivered. 

" Are you really so anxious to possess it, 
Sir? And does its sight make you so pale and # 
tremulous? You cannot get it yet, however, 
until you hear — first, how it came into my pos- 
session — next, 'till you hear me read it. I did 
not spy among your papers, Mr. Pratt; I did 
not — (how proudly and contemptuously my na- 
ture repels the charge—-)" 

•" It need not, however, quite so proudly, 1 ' 
interrupted the elder, now restored to his self- 
possession. 



46 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Explain your meaning there, Sir !— explain, 
this moment P 

" Tut, silly boy," turning from him as he 
advanced, and taking a chair. 

" Well, Sir, then hear me go on. This scrap 
of a letter I found, but a few hours ago, near to 
where you had been sitting to your escritoire, 
in the parlour. I picked it up, to place it out 
of the hantls of the servants; in doing so, my 
own name — the name you have chosen to give 
me, I should rather say— struck my eye, in 
your wife's handwriting; a natural and, I hope, 
excusable curiosity prompted me to run over the 
lines, and then I read what I now read to you : 
'tis but a part of a letter, Sir, and seems the 
conclusion of one; — there is no clue to the first 
few words, which, however, are * could have died 
in poverty, much happier;' but afterwards, Sir, 
we have an almost unbroken sentence. — c Yes, 
Joshua, on my death-bed, and about to face 
my God, nothing distresses my soul but the 
wrong done to this poor Redmond: my only 
hope and comfort is, that while you live you 
will be a father to him, and, ere you find your- 
self in my present situation, insure to him, by a 
legal act, all that you believe to be his right : 
perhaps Heavep would allow another mode of 



PETER OJF THE CASTLE. 47 

arrangement, without injury to our own child ; 

perhaps she and he * here, Sir, the scrap 

ends; now s , can you explain it? Now, will 
you yield me the satisfaction I have hitherto 
vainly begged for ?" 

" 1 believe, indeed, I must, Redmond, though 
for your own sake, I wish this necessity had not 
occurred for doing so: the prospect of being 
compelled to answer your questions, when just 
now I saw the paper in your hands, threw me 
off my guard, and, I can assure you, exclu- 
sively on account of your individual interests, 
caused me to express myself in a manner I must 
regret. But come ; let us to the point, at last; 
my confession now becomes indispensable in 
order to protect my own character from suspi- 
cions that your hasty interpretation of the lines 
may render probable ; wait here a moment ; I 
will instantly return." 

He took a light ; left the dining-room with a 
composed step ; entered the parlour, and soon 
returned, holding a torn letter*in his hand. 

" To give you full satisfaction, Redmond, let 
us first read the whole of the letter, of which 
that scrap is a part; ay, here it is; pray, just 
lay your morceau to this torn edge, that we may 
judge if any words are missing on either side." 



48 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Redmond, allowing this request, stepped to the 
table, and applied his slip to the torn letter; 
and, while in the act of doing so, Mr. Pratt sud- 
denly snatched it from between his fingers, and 
flung it into the blazing chimney, where, in a 
second, it was ashes, saying — " There, good 
Redmond — I beg your pardon— but that is the 
most charitable way to settle the question." 

The young man stood fixed in consternation/ 
Surprise at such an act from a man whose cha- 
racter, until within a few days past, he had from 
childhood respected, tended, as much as his feel- 
ings with regard to himself, to keep him some 
moments silent. But he at length found words. 

" Well, Mr. Pratt ; now, at least, I believe 
you have reasons, other than those yielded to 
me, for your caution. Now, Sir, I firmly believe 
you have slandered the memory of my unknown 
father ; and, to quote your wife's dying words, 
wronged my father's son." 

" Don't be a fool, Redmond ; think and be- 
lieve what you like, but keep respectful lan- 
guage. You are dependant upon me." 

" I can keep no respectful language for the 
man whose assertions and character I have proof 
are false and dishonourable ; and I am not de- 
pendant upon you, Sir. Passing your story of a 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 49 

thousand pounds given to you, for my education 
and so forth, I am convinced I am not your deb- 
tor, so far : lest I should be, in future, we part 
—part this moment, and for ew.~ w 

" Insolent fool ! — be not as rash as you are 
ungrateful and saucy.— Part ? why, where would 
you go ? where, except to enlist with Cushneiche, 
on the mountains ?" 

" Wherever I go, it shall be from under a 
roof that, in honour, and with a due respect 
for myself, should no longer shelter me." 

" Though after all your fine proud blood, 
Master Redmond, it may be hail-fellow-well-met, 
between ye,* muttered Mr. Pratt, as if only fol- 
lowing up his own last speech. 

" What do you say, there again, Sir? what 
dreadful and mysterious insult dare you insinu- 
ate r 

" Dare?" 

" Yes, Sir, dare— " Hestepped forward; Mr. 
Pratt rose to ring the bell — " But spare yourself 
any apprehension, Sir ; I despise to repeat the 
word ; we part, I say ; some other evidences of 
my father's identity may, perhaps, be found, 
notwithstanding your stories, Mr. Pratt." 

" Silly fellow, stay where you are : when you 
discover — if you ever can— who and what that 

VOL. III. D 



50 .PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

father was, you may congratulate yourself but 
little; on your success." 

" Hell and devils!" exclaimed Redmond, 
seizing him, " you shall tell me that who and 
what before I leave you." 

" Madman, let toe go, or take the conse- 
quence in an answer that will curse you." 

" I will not! — speak away f— let me be 
curst, if I am to be so -^ speak, Sir ! w 
j " Hearken, then^-" as the young man began 
to treat him rudely* " your father was, I be- 
lieve, a common robber, and died, I hope, at 
the hands of the law." e . 

The doleful. scream of a man's voice, burst- 
ing from Redmond? instantly echoed through 
the house; and, a moment after, the young 
man .had broke away from Mr. Pratt, flinging 
him some yards distant, and was bounding down 
the avenue, night and storm, as black and ve- 
hement as his own passion, gathering around 
■his path. 



?ETER OF THE CASTLE. 51 



CHAPTER III. 

Me. Pratt stood , pale and shaking after 
the agitation, and, indeed, the violence he had 
undergone, when, as if summoned by the cry 
that, as has been said, rung through the man- 
sion, a light figure of a girl, dressed in white 
muslin, glided to the open parlour door, and 
there checking herself, stood with clasped hands, 
looking in upon him. Almost at the same mo- 
ment, another person, a tall, middle-aged man, 
clothed in shabby black, and having a flaming 
red face, and vulgar features, appeared behind 
her, easily peeping over the girl's shoulders, 
and* also directing his glances, — which, as any 
one might suppose, were filled with a simple, ho- 
nest anxiety — towards Mr. Pratt. At the first 
sound of their approach, that gentleman roused 
himself; with a quick step walked to the door, 

d2 



52 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

and, as he took the young lady's hand to lead 
her in, said to her companion — 

" After him, Cotteril ; follow the silly boy, 
and- bring him back instantly." Cotteril, with 
an expression of great devotion, and as if his 
simple nature was half convinced of the import- 
ance of his commission, was moving off. " Stop; 
tell him I forgive all his rudeness and insult, and 
promise him a full explanation, if he will but re- 
turn this moment; — tell him, too, that what I 
last said is not to be minded ; that he compelled 
me to say something as a punishment for his in- 
temperance; — quick, Bill — and harkee"— he 
quitted his fair charge a moment, who instantly 
sank into a chair ; stepped out to Cotteril, whis- 
pered two or three sentences, which the man met 
by his usual affectation of good-nature and sim- 
plicity, and then closing one eye leisurely, as a 
token of comprehension, he plodded away. Mr. 
Pratt took a seat by the girl's side,— " Now, 
what is the reason of this, Ellen ?" he began ; — 
" you know such agitation is as dangerous to 
you as it is indelicate." 

" Father, ,v she answered, trembling, and 
looking as white as her floating dress, " could I 
have helped it ? after getting my wretched secret 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 53 

from me, as, by kindness and commands together 
you have done, would you expect me to remain 
up stairs, alone, and uninformed about him 
and you, when I heard his terrible outcry, and 
saw him, from my window, rushing down 
the avenue ? — Oh, Sir, what has happened ? — 
Where has he gone at this time of night ! " 

" Well, my dear child," taking her hand, " I 
should not have been so surprised at your ap- 
pearance, but 1 forgot a little ; my temper and 
nerves were shaken; and nothing of importance 
has happened. You know Redmond is hasty at 
times, when his dark nature sends out a flash ; 
and while I was again urging him to exert him. 
self in the way that his time of life now makes 
imperative, he answered me sullenly, and, as I 
thought, disrespectfully. I retorted, which I 
should not have done; he quite lost his self- 
command ; very harsh language ensued between 
us ; and at last he left the house in a fit of inde- 
pendence, I suppose ; and that's all. Don't look 
so frightened, Ellen ; Cotteril will soon bring 
him back ; I am ready to forgive him, and the 
morning will see us as happy as ever." 

" God send it, Sir," was her only reply, ex- 
cept that showers of tears now relieved her pre- 
vious terror. 



54 PITER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Yes, my love, all shall go on well ; nothing 
shall harm our poor Redmond, silly and thought- 
less as he is ; for your sake I can pardon him 
a worse extravagance ; so, cheer up, Nelly, cheer 
up. 

" Sir," after a pause, and trying to check 
her tears, " your goodness to him — to us both-^- 
is not the only thing required for my happiness 
— I believe, I fear it is-not" 

" Then, only tell me what else." 

" And I begin to think— oh, Sir, I am sure— 
that I ought, if I regard my own respectability— 
to say nothing of my peace of mind— endeavour 
— to-*-" fresh tears fbflowed. 

" To what, my child? speak up plainly to 
your father, as you have ever done ; it will be 
best for all parties. Did your dear mother 
live, I should never think of winning or desiring 
your confidence on so delicate a subject ; but 
lonely and-p-but for each other— companionless 
as we stand in the world, our hearts ought to be 
fully shared together ; speak, Ellen, and you 
will find me try, with a woman's delicacy, joined 
to a father's interest, to fill your mother's place. 
Come, now, what would you tell me ?" 

" What I am ashamed and humiliated, as well 
as choked, to tell, Sir — what, girl and lady as I 



PETER OF THE CASTLE* 55 

*m, I ought to die sooner, than acknowledge with 
one tear; yet they will come. Oh, Sir* after all 
your kindness, indulgence* and eocouragemfctit 
to my foolish feelings Redmond does not love, 
does not care for your poor Ellen." 

" Pho, child, is that all ? Come, I know 
better ; I have experience in affairs of the heart, 
among men at least, and;>£ coin my observation 
of the boy, you teH aa idle story. Do you 
think, Ellen, I *ould> have enoouraged fed- 
ings that (tender and delicate- as youtt constitu* 
don is) must, if disappointed, injure; yon,: unless 
I became assured fof Redmond Vjinchnations f^ 
This much, you may haye observed.! From a 
sense of what he supposes a dependant (situation* 
wording oa a proud and, sometimes, a .dark 
heart, but certainly a noble nature, the, lad en- 
deavours, no doubt, to hide his sentiments : he 
must not aspire, bethinks, to the child of his 
benefactor, and of a man high in the world; 
but, let him alone; we shall find means, without 
•compromising your dignity, my love, to give 
him more confidence " 

" I think little, Sir, of such appearances as 
you describe ; I have never seen them, on they 
escaped my remark; that is not it at all; Red- 
mond loves another lady." 



56 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

"Absurd, Ellen; the ravings of some of 
the little tortures of a sweet girl's first love. 

\ 

What other? what lady? he is not even 
acquainted with another: whom can you 
mean?" 

" Miss D'Arnell, the foreign lady at Plea- 
sant View." 

" Why, he does not know her, or scarcely 
knows her ; they may, indeed, have met in the 
library of the old eccentric Count, or on her 
walks, but could not have exchanged a word to- 
gether: she is always attended by her bonne, her 
governess, her duenna, you know; and then 
she is so high, so lofty; you have, yourself, told 
me so ; he durst not have thought of her." 

" He loves, father — I cannot be deceived in 
tfyat ; every thing he says or does, for the last 
year, assures me ; he loves — and not Ellen." 

" My dear Nelly, 'tis a mistake ; Redmond 
has it not in his nature to be an inconstant, 
and you know how truly he has sighed for you 
since you were children." 

" I thought so ; but now believe I have Wen 
mistaken." 

" What ! not credit his own words ? Has he 
not often whispered it, my child?" 

" Never, since we were children, almost. Oh, 



FJ&TttJl OF THE CASTLB. 57 

Sir, we grew up in a sad. mistake together. The 
servants, your friends, nay, Sir, yourself taught 
us, by simple words — silly ones— such as I am 
ashamed that I remember — to consider ourselves, 
even when infants, as— 'tis foolish indeed, y«t I 
do remember it — as particular friends. After 
that, while we read, and learned, and rode, 
and ran about together, mere boy and girl, he 
used to repeat the absurd phrases he had heard, 
and I— for I believe, girls know soonest the 
meaning of such words — I thought more of them 
than Redmond. But never, since his parting 
for college at fifteen, never did he repeat this 
kind of nonsense." 

" No, love ; because, upon his return, he had 
learned to think a little, and his respect and awe 
checked his former little freedoms." 

" Because he had learned to think, Sir, I 
know ; think, and correct his childish error. Do 
not tell me, dear father ; had he loved under the 
deepest disguise of reserve, I must have, seen 
it ; for, I blush to tell you, Sir, I watched him 
closely; through fear, awe, indifference, cold- 
ness, I had surely found out his love for me. 
No, -Sir ; kind, tender of my weak state of health, 
and frank and friendly as a brother, Redmond 
has been ever Since, — nothing more. Nothing 

d5 



58 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

more, until within the last year, when, after the 
Count invited him to Pleasant View, he met 
Miss D'ArneU— and oh, father* he could not 
help adoring her J She and I have saluted each 
other, and spoken an occasional word, upon our 
chance meetings in the cabins of one or two of 
your poor tenants; and this much I will allow 
—she is a queen, a goddess'! I allow mare*— she 
is better suited, by nature and natural qualities 
of mind, if not of heart, to win and meet Red- 
mond's high spirit, than your poor, weak, 
trembling Ellen." As she again wept, her head 
fell on her father's shoulder. 

At this moment, as he was about farther tore-! 
ply, the red face and tall awkward figure of Cot- 
teril reappeared at the parlour door ; Mr. Pratt 
removed her head, rose up, and, perceiving the 
man alone, faced him with his back to Ellen, and 
gave him a significant wink as he demanded an 
account of his mission. * 

" All sthraight an' fair, Sir, as a body 
might say, afther a manner," replied -Cotteril, 
speaking, as the neighbours termed it, in the ut- 
most touchiness* of accent, as he returned his mas- 
ter's signal : " I seen (he young masther,asyour 
honour bid me, an 9 discoorsed him too, the poor 

* This word has many meanings — one of them good-' 
nature. 



PKTBB DP THE CAST LE> 59 

young slob, an* never fear him, but he'ihbe here 
in a jiffy ; only he ■ tould me to *ay that, as it 
was so late, he>d take *a bed in the .Tillage, for 
the rest o^ the night, astf see your honour, an' 
Miss Nelly , iskxl bless her, at the tey an* iaoBst, 
in the mornin/ *? 

" There, love, you hear that/' said Un; 
Pratt, reapproaching his daughter,- and again 
taking her hand ; " and come, now, and let me 
lead you towards your chamber; you require 
sleep and rest, Ellen." 

" I do indeed, father," as she arose to walk 
out at the door— ^ but will sleep and rest come 
when they are most wanted, Sir ?* • • . 

" Ellen, " resumed rh^rv>&ther, stopping, to 
speak in an earnest whisper, «i the passage, 
u you know that while I; lose; you as tenderly 
as ever a widowed father loved an orphan child, 
I am a man of some sense, and understand 
what I say before I say it; therefore attend 
to me; this boy loves you, notwithstand- 
ing all your whims, and, if you bave no great 
objection, shall make you his wife. Good nighty 
my love, and go- dream of him /' » He motioned 
to kiss he? cheek, and Ellen meekly held out 
her pale but beautiful oQe/for her.father's salute, 
as, with a sigh, drawn from ther depths of her 
heart, she merely said — " Good night, Sir/'' 



60 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

Mr. Pratt listened until he heard her light and 
languid step enter her chamber; then he walk* 
ed back into the parlour, cautiously shut the 
door, with a pompous and heavy stride passed 
Cotteril, whose ricketty length was drawn up 
against the wall, in a corner; flung himself 
into a chair, and bending his brows till they al- 
most hid his fish-shaped grey eyes, asked, 

" Well, Sir, he would not come with you, nor 
have you seen him ?" 

" It was not all a sham story, your honour : 
I seen him, sure enough, but hadn't the speech 
of him somehow or someway ; and afore I could 
have it, another came across him, and they 
turned out o* my sighth, together." 

" Who was that person ? 

?' Maybe your honour could throw a guess at 

Turning a piece of tobacco in his mouth, 
and stopping to deposit some of its distillation 
under the grate, Mr. Cotteril advanced across 
the room in his own peculiar pace. While car- 
rying his person along, he rested upon one leg 
the whole weight of his body, then dwelt upon 
that leg, before he put the other in motion, as if 
there existed a necessity to use due consideration 
between every step, or a fear that one innocent 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 61 

limb might bring its fellow into a scrape ; and, 
perhaps upon something of the same princi- 
ple, he always seemed pondering as he went 
forward, his eyes generally cast down ; which 
habit, together with the constant stirring of 
his long tinder jaw, gave him the appear- 
ance of a poor harmless kine, in a cogitative 
mood. At the least word addressed to him, no 
matter by whom, he would, however, half elevate 
his regards, and send them round, with a sem- 
blance, at least, of great good-will to every person 
and every thing they fell upon ; and his way of 
returning the slightest salute was bland and in- 
nocent in the extreme. 

" If I could guess," answered his master 
to his question, " why should I inquire of 
you ?* 

" Why, then, it 's a thing I 'in apt to think, 
Sir, you'd be like enough to make three or four 
offers afore you'd hit on id." 

Mr. Cotteril, having said so much, drew a 
chair in a sneaking way to the fire, to make 
himself quite at home during the conference that 
was to take place ; again emitted some of his 
distilled tobacco under the grate, and setting his 
side to the blaze, extended the fingers of his 
right hand, in the way that the action may be 



6£ PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

observed to be performed by a pleased cat, in 
nearly the same situation; while, nrhb a switch 
he held in his left hand, and which was a general 
appendage to hid equipment, he described semi- 
circles on the carpet as lie talked. Persons rf 
consideration are occasionally pbbged to tolerate 
such familiarity from their confidante 

" Some way, or some how,*' he went on, f < it 
cums about by chance, or by good-looek, or 
something o' the sort, that when I'm bent on 
goin' ainy where, to do any thing, by dayor by 
nighty there's a knack sarves my turn to send; 
me the Tight road, ma&ther*" 

He stopped a moment for " the mastae*'*" 
assent to this proposition. 

" Yes ; g& on, 7 * said Mr. Pratt. 

-The same thing, afther amanner, happened 
to me this bout, Sir. MakhV my way wid a 
hearty good will, for the rasdn that I was on 
your honour's arrand, I sthrikes up the hill- 
road, that sarves by way of a short cut to *he 
village; — an' I was- a^passin' by Breedge 
Sheehy's cabin, about half way to the top o' 
the hill — a hard-workm' ould woman is the 
same Breedge, Sir ; given to' industhry ; an' 
she does have a little bottle behind the noggin* 
on the dhresser for a friend ; it's the widow o' 



PETER OF THE CASTLE, 63 

Dan Sheeby that they hanged, people say wrong- 
fully enough— youd know the cabin, Sir, I'd 
make free to think ?" 

* Yes ; it stands the nearest to the wild, spot 
of ground on the summit of the bill." 

" So it does, your honour. Well, just as I was 
a turain' the gable o' the house, I bears some- 
body or other breaking through the loose 
stones and furze,; at my right hand undher me, 
on the slope o 1 the same hiU,* coming up, like 
enough, from the other road, the smooth carriage- 
road, that, runs all round the hill, to the village, 
too; an' as the step was iaa hifcrry, I had my 
own yasons for hidin' to let it pass me by ; an' 
the -wan jumped across the little rough road, an' 
never cried stop, bud made for the very place 
your honour spakes of, on the crown o' the hill 
entirely: an* sure, it was our own poor, slob, 
Masther Redmond, an' nobody else; running 
like the hunted hare, only no one huntin' him, 
barrin 1 himself, I 'm thiiikinV 

" Well,. yon followed him t? 

" Faicks an' I did so, your honour; bud wid. 
a little caution, afther a manner, just to thry an' 
see what he was goin' to do wid his poor bones 
iq sich a place as that ; an' I 'm well behouldin' ; 
to the part I tuck, anyhow ; maybe it makes. 



\ 



64 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

the rason why Bill Cottheril is to the fore to tell 
your honour the quare things that cum about ; 
for when I stole, ever so asy, round an' round 
the bit o' waste ground, I hard his voice high 
wid another man, afore I seen either iv 'em ; an' 
when I did get the first sighth o' the both, 
musha, never a mind I had to go nearer ; an' 
afther a mortial spell o' the talk, in the wind an' 
the dhrizzle, the man an' he turned farther off, 
an' I never seen 'em since." 

" And now, who was that man, Cotteril ?" 
Mr. Cotteril allowed lengthened vent to a 
fresh stream of tobacco-juice, spread his fingers 
wider asunder at the blaze, and gave his switch 
another sweep on the carpet e're he added — 
€t It was Cushneiche, the robber." 
Mr. Pratt stared at him. 
u Nonsense, man; you are mistaken." 
"Maybe I am, masther; bud tho' I'm no 
great witch of a man, all out, entirely, some how 
or other, I '11 make bould to say that maybe I *m 
not mistaken, as well as maybe I am. Maybe 
it's myself hasn't the eye-sighth good enough to 
see him ; an' maybe I have no right to know 
Masther Cushneiche, if I did see him; maybe 
nothin' happened, an' maybe I didn't tell your 
honour iv id afore, the night o' the day when we 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 65 

war forced to cant an' dhrive the Meehans, poor 
wwls — (a kind o' thing, I may make bould to 
say, is agin our nature, only, your honour knows, 
we must do id to get our own) — an' when I 
was comin' along home, quite an' asy, as my way 
is, maybe he didn't step up to me on the road, 
and grope the poor pockets, an' dhraw out the 
day's money, tellin' me, in the jibin' way he has, 
it was done to save my thigh from bein' galded 
wid the load; an' then what does he do bud 
tear the decrees we had agin the Dooleys, into 
bits the size o' my nail ; an' when all was over, 
the blundherbush held to my jaw, that had a 
mouth to id, aye, by Gar, the size iv a barrel 
pot, while he forced me, in the civil way I had, as 
he told me, to give him my hearty thanks for his 
throuble, all the same, afther a manner, as if it 
war goold he war afther givin' to me, not to 
talk iv takin' it from me ; — yis ; maybe, some- 
how or someway, I had no rason at all to know 
him." 

You are quite certain then ? n 
As sart'n, your honour, as that I feel the 
fire, (the Lord purlong id) burnin my hine-quar- 
thers here." 

%t Were you able to hear their conversa- 
tion ?" 



« 



4 



66 PJSTBR OF THE CASTLE. 

" That's the otly bite that cum on us yet, 
Sir* No; Sir ; never a word could I hear, tho 1 
I cocked the two rasonably good ears I have, as. 
stiff as the filly in the stable, when the gor^oot* 
issettlin' his oats in the siv" for him; — it's not 
to be denied, any how, that I didn't go as near: 
to 'em as a body might go, afther a manner, if a 
body hadn't a rason for keepin' a civil distance 
somehow; an' it's as likely that I: did go near 
enough too, for hearin 1 oV what they said, only, 
some way or some how, the wind was tattherm 
an* tearirf on the: top o r the place, an' dhrivin^ 
their words twenty ways at a time, so that there 
waslittle use in listenin" * maybe afora I cum up- 
there might be a sort of a kind of a jnistrndher^ 
stahdin' betuxt 'em, by rason that I jist caught 
their voices higher at the first goin' off, noc 
afther ; bud when they turned . farther over the 
hill, in a thrack I had no mind to folly 'em 
on, anVleft my sighth, at the* same time, it 
was all like born brethers, one to another, I 'm. 
thinking 

" It is very surprizing," said Mr. Pratt. 

" An' that same thought, Sir," continued Mr; 
Cotteril, " set me upon bringin' to mind the 
ould saying — * Birds of a feather flock to- 
gether ;' it had the face upon it, someway or 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 67 

somehow, as if Masther Redmond was takin' 
to his new wa*ys, by coorse o' nature ; an 1 , by 
Gar, Bill Cottheril, says I, spakin' asy and quite 
to myself, it might happen, Bill, you war tellin' 
the thruth, unknownst to yourself the day afore 
yistherday, when you war goin' on, afther the 
masther's ordhers,to put it upon the ould Counts 
safevants, an v other honest people in the village 
down there, as to how the gorcoon war pedigreed, 
an' the sort of a breed he sprung from." 

"You have no right, Cotteril, to assume 
the rare credit of having told truth on that 
single occasion ; I informed you that I wished 
to get the rumour circulated, myself standing 
clear of it, for a certain purpose ; a domestic 
one ; which I believe you guess." 

" Yis, Sir, may be I do ; God bless your 
honour, that laves such a thing in poor Bill 
CottheriPs hands to put the guess on ; yis, the 
darlin' young misthress, the Lord be good to 
her, every day she gets up ! an* that dhawn 
ordha* iv a Frinch lady, comin' here for to go 
to take the likin' iv our poor slob iv a boy from 
Miss Nelly to herself, Sir ;" — he arose from his 
seat at the fire, advanced his long wriggling 

* A high or conceited person. 



68 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

body towards " the Masther," changed the 
switch from the left to the right hand, and con- 
tinued close by the table to which Mr. Pratt 
sat; " Yis, Sir, to be sure ; bud — w suddenly 
dropping his left elbow on the table, and bending 
one leg, and stretching out the other, while his 
face assumed the placid simplicity which it usu- 
ally wore when speaking to strangers on Mr. 
Pratt's concerns, and of which it could not now 
divest itself to Mr. Pratt himself, although they 
knew each other tolerably well — u It's a thing, 
somehow or someway, that, if it wouldn't be 
makin' too bould, entirely — he !— ha !" — we can- 
not come nearer to the orthography of these 
two self-interrupting ejaculations, which broke 
from him, half sigh, half grunt, as he stretch- 
ed forward his arm, and, with the point of his 
switch, endeavoured to reach a bit of straw 
that his own brogues had smuggled into the 
room — u too bould, entirely,' ' he resumed, " to 
ax your honour the rason that's in id — "an- 
other pause, in another energetic effort to reach 
the straw, which a looker-on might suppose to 
be the chief object of his desires — " if it 's such 
a thing as that your honour is downright in 
arnest about, afther a manner, to let the gor- 
yoon make up to Miss Nelly, good fort'n be 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

in : her road— why you 'd be sendin' a body to 
whisper them quare stories about him V And 
the last words seemed to escape merely as if 
they slipped from him in his repeated efforts to 
reach the straw, which, as they were uttered, 
he at last succeeded in twitching from its 
place. 

" 1 11 satisfy you on that point, honest Bill, 
for I am aware it does seem rather strange," 
replied Mr. Pratt, scarce able to keep in a con- 
temptuous smile at the play of face and tongue 
that assailed him; " and my answer involves 
some delicate family matters ; yet, as I know 
you to be an old and long-tried friend of the 
family, I can fear little from giving you my 
confidence." 

" Faicks, yis; your honour knows poor 
Bill Cottheril is loyal to the back-bone." 

" Indeed, Bill, I believe so; and therefore 
willingly answer the question you have just 
put. 

" Long before I could, from observation, 
interpose my authority to prevent it, Red- 
mond had, by constant assiduity, won the affec- 
tions of Miss Pratt." 

t€ Oh, the thief o' the world ; what impedince 
he had to do sich a thing, Sir." 



70 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

< " On account of the great indulgence with 
which I treated the boy, she was hot on her 
guard against him* particularly after his last 
return from College v when he came to us cer- 
tainly an intelligent, well-mannered/ and, in 
his person, a fine young man ; and so, Cotteril, 
Miss Pratt's tender nature at last fully owned 
his merits and attentions."" 

" 'Musha, the poor erature ; the poor young 
misthress, Sir ;— ah' Miss Nelly owned it, Sir?" 

" But, as you before rightly conjectured, 
Master Redmond soon after met the strange lady 
at the Count's, and his love and his professions 
were forgotten. 4 " 

" Oh, the young thief, I say again, Sir — I 
wish we had a hoult of him, a second time, your 
honour, jest for his good." 

" You know the delicate state of your young 
lady's health; you know my apprehensions 
about it, and my great affection for her ;— you 
know the anxiety that, as a father, I must feel 
upon the subject ; and therefore, Cotteril, you 
will understand why I instructed you to whis- 
per such rumours as, upon reaching the old 
Count's ear, would be likely to put an end to 
Mr. Redmond's visits at Pleasant-view." 

" Avoch, I do undherstand, Sir; — musha 
yis; if the poor young misthress hard tell of it, 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 71 

it would go nigh to break the heart in her body, 
Sir." 

" That's precisely what I wish to prevent- 
I hope to bring back* by any means — you mind 
me, Cotteril— by any means — this young lad to 
his most honourable line of conduct* before Miss 
Pratt knows that she has been slighted, deserted, 
and insulted." 

" Musha, to be sure, Sir; an 1 why not, God 
purlong her days, an' look down on her ; an, 1 by 
any manes at all, your honour says, afther a 
manner, somehow ?" 

" Yes, eotteril." 

" Why then, yis, wid all my heart, Sir ; 
only, afther a manner, we don't fusthaunf* 
your honour, out-an-out, entirely." 

" If what is already done has no effect, it will 
be necessary to get him into our power, Bill." 

u Faiks, so it will, Sir ; your honour jest 
said it." 

Cotteril smilingly waited to hear a speedy 
explanation of " the MastherV plan for getting 
Redmond, as he had said, into his power ; but, 
rather to his disappointment, Mr. Pratt was, for 
some time, silent; and when at last he re- 
*uwedy hpnest Bill did not immediately see the 

* Comprehend. 



78 . PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

cjiift or connexion of the new with the former 
topic. 

" This Cushneiche, Bill-^— n 

" Yis, Sir ; this bad boy of a Cushneiche." " 

" How long before I last returned from 
Dublin had the fellow been in the country ? only 
a few weeks, I think you have said/' 

Cotteril acquiesced. 

" And, from all you can learn, he is not a 
native of these parts ?" 

" Neither he nor his next in command, Sir, 
the Yallow Sailor, as they calls him ; nor like 
the boys, o' the count hry, either, though many '• 
the bouchal about the place is listed wid em, 
people say, since they cum among us, somehow 
or someway; only Cushneiche himself, some- 
times dhresses like one kind o' body, sometimes 
like another, an' is never known to look the laste 
resembhV a labourin' man', as the others do, 
afther a manner ; an' the Yallow Sailor always 
wears his blue jacket, more betoken the tallow 
face he's called afther." 

" They do not rob poor and rich, indiscri- 
minately ?" 

" So far from it, your honour, that, when the 
fit takes Cushneiche, hell give to a poor man 
what ' he borrowed from a rich one ; an 1 then 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 78 

their friends, Sir, the counthry round; their re- 
caivers, an' them that hides 'em, and gives 'em 
help at a pinch ; faiks I hear there's some cabins 
we wouldn't .s'pect for it that goes on wid 
thricks o' the kind, Sir." 

" But I suspected them, Cotteril ; and, per- 
haps, between us we know as much erf the gen- 
tlemen altogether, as will make sure of them one 
of those days." 

" Wid God's help, Sir : tho' faiks, your honour, 
we 'd want sich help when it's agin the red divil 
we must fight, that gets Cushneiche out o'more 
scrapes than an ould eel that 'ud be slippin' 
thro' the dhrag-net, night afther night, the year 
round." 

" No matter, he may be hauled up at last. 
Now, Cotteril, you are sure Mr. Redmond has 
joined this highway robber ; you saw them meet 
and walk off together, quietly and confiden- 
tially ?" His cabinet minister assented. u And 
you are ready to say as much to your neigh- 
bours to-morrow morning, so that the good 
people of the country may soon hear it ; and you 
are ready to swear it too before any magistrate 
in the land — all without having it understood 
that I know a word of the matter?" 

Cotteril answered that, for an " honest, quite, 

vol. in. * e 



74 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

aisy man," no creature alive was more ready iand 
willing to " down with an honest oath," at any 
time, in his honour's service. 

" Then you know what you are to do the 
very first thing in the morning, Bill ? and so 
drink this tumbler of wine — and good night to 
you, Cotteril." 

With prayers for the long life and welfare of 
his honour and the whole family, Mr. Cotteril 
speedily .obeyed this command, and then put 
himself in motion to take his ill-constructed and 
shuffling figure out of the room. As he gained 
the door, he hesitated, stopped, and said — " Good 
night an' a pleasant sleep to your honour ; but, 
musha, Sir — I ax pardon — but what's to be 
done wid the darlin' young misthress, God keep 
her, in regard o' the young masther not comin* 
home to the tay an' toast in the mornin', as I 
tould her ?" 

" Leave that to me, Bill ; you have nothing 
to do with it ; only go to your bed." 

" Oh ! sorrow a thing, Sir, sure enough ; an' 
it 's to your honour's self we'll lave it ; an' why 
not? A good night, Sir, an' the Lord reward you, 
and be good to you." He scraped himself out 
of the room, his face all simplicity and good 
nature ; yet, ere he turned down the kitchen 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 75 

stairs to the servants' apartment, stopped once 
more, and added—* 4 But my sowl to glory, if 
myself thinks the masther is outright as open 
wid me in this little business as he blieves I 
think he is ; an' I don't find it in my heart, for 
all he says, wid his own smooth tongue, somehow, 
to be satisfied on the head o' wantin' to marry 
that gor^oon. to the young misthress by half 
hangin' him afore hand : no matther ; he always 
an' ever had the two ways in him, and yet they 
seldom or never bamboozled poor Bill Cotthdril, 
ather ; an' may be, by a little watchin', an keep- 
ing our toe in our brogue, an' our own tongue 
in our cheek, the ball wouldn't be sthruck all 
his own way this hayt nather." 

Mr. Pratt remained sitting alone in the di- 
ning-room long after his departure : at length he 
rose up, with a heavy, care-freighted sigh, and 
getting a light, proceeded to his library. There 
he took down a volume of statutes, and opening 
it at a page to which a mark previously placed 
in the book at once directed him, read over, 
very studiously, a particular statute ; then closed 
the volume ; with his hand laid upon its cover, 
remained in deep thought ; in some time, roused 
himself; returned the book to its shelf, care- 
fully adjusting the mark ; gained his sleeping- 

e2 



76 PKTEE OF THE CASTLE. 

chamber ; locked the door ; walked into a closet ; 
opened a strong box ; took out a parchment 
deed; conned it over, also; dwelt, again and 
again, on its date, in the manner of one who 
sought to indulge certainty rather than in any 
degree to attain it ; and, finally, the point of his 
reflections escaped him in this short and whis- 
pered soliloquy — " Yes, he shall make her hi* 
wife, if the prospect of the gallows itself can 
induce him. I know he does not love her, and 
Ellen need not have told me; but no matter; 
Redmond shall marry her." 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 77 



CHAPTER IV. 

The day for attending to the invitation of 
Darby Roach and his son arrived, &nd Mr. 
Pratt and Ellen prepared to go toMickle Tobin's 
house. All guests were expected by six o'clock 
in the evening; and as the small farmer, Tobin, 
lived some miles beyond the village, while Mr. 
Pratt's mansion lay about the same distance 
from it, in an opposite direction, it was neces- 
sary to be on horseback by five at least, parti- 
cularly as they should, at that hour, have the last 
light of a February evening, and escape, in its 
company, all chance of a meeting with Cush- 
neiche, or any of hi& subjects. For the purpose 
of providing against his intrusion on the way 
home, Mr. Pratt left orders with Cotteril to call 
for him at the place of nuptials, about eleven 
o'clock, attended by a number of men, well* 
~nrm€d. 

In order that his daughter might bear him 



78 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

company, on the present festive occasion, Mr. 
Pratt had well justified his claim, expressed when 
the reader last found him and Cotteril confiden- 
tially discoursing, to have the arrangement of 
the question of Redmond's absence left entirely 
to himself. In fact, he had seriously informed 
Ellen, that after an early interview between the 
youth and him, the morning subsequent to his 
sudden flight from the house, Redmond con- 
sented to depart immediately for Dublin, to 
complete his college course, in consequence of 
having previously disclosed his passion for Ellen, 
and received an approbation, provided he should 
betake himself to studies he had long neglect- 
ed, and not attempt to see her until a stipulated 
time. His period of probation would, however, 
be but a short one ; only a few months in fact : 
and, when it had expired, Ellen might be pre- 
pared to see a fervent lover at her feet. 

The girl had no reason or inclination to 
disbelieve her father's word ; the truth of this 
statement she did not, therefore, doubt ; and 
yet she heard it with that languid acquiescence 
of the heart which comes from a foreboding of 
disappointment. It never occurred to her to 
question the facts so stated ; but she could not 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 79 

get Redmond before her imagination as a 
lover. 

Meantime, while Cotteril, at his master's 
instance, widely whispered a very contrary ac- 
count of the situation of Redmond, Mr. 
Pratt studiously arranged to keep the shockr 
ing story from his daughter's ear. That, 
according to hopes and plans he had formed, 
this gentleman reckoned to place her lover 
under her eyes, in the light and within the 
time he spoke of, is certain, and therefore, and 
if for no reason but to guard his own show of 
consistency, he would have taken this precaution : 
but there was another reason ; and, although 
with him scarcely a more potent, yet a more 
amiable one; he fondly loved his gentle and 
drooping daughter; his fears for her health 
were lively and continual ; and even had there 
been no policy in the case, assuredly he would 
have striven to keep her from the knowledge of 
a story which, whether true or false, must deeply 
embitter, if it did not endanger her life. 

After making his fabulous communication, 
he exerted himself too in every way, to cheer her 
mind and rally her spirits ; and, as part of his 
efforts in this view, gently insisted, against her 



80 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

repeated though unusual objections, that Ellen 
should accompany him to their tenant's wed* 
ding. Even here Mr. Pratt had a double mo- 
tive. He wished to stand well with the world, 
and, as a first step, with his tenantry ; that is, 
with every one of them from whom a tolerably 
regular discharge of rent might be expected. 
While the poor and unfortunate, and of course 
the irregular portion of his " cottiers" and small 
farmers were driven, and distrained, and ejected, 
without ceremony — (Mr. Cotteril, as has been 
gathered from his own personal eulogy, the chief 
agent on all such occasions)— the prosperous and 
thriving portion experienced smiles and urbanity 
from their landlord. He would salute them 
kindly ; talk with them in a good-natured tone ; 
give ear to their little wants, of that description 
which it cost him nothing to alleviate ; decide all 
their knotty law-points, with die more authority, 
assumed and acknowledged, because they knew 
he had once been " a counsellor ;" and, above 
all, Mr. Pratt wished to get credit for the patri- 
archal condescension of mingling in their domes- 
tic festivities, at wedding, or christening, so that 
those who duly paid their arrears might never 
have it in their power or be disposed to call him 
" hard," or " an upstart." Ahd aware that, to 



PITER OF THE CAST 1,1. 8] 

procure the good word of any family, it is ad- 
visable to win over the female members, Mr. 
Pratt, on all these accounts, encouraged bis 
daughter in her own voluntary wish of making 
happy the humble people around her, whether 
by assisting thtm, obliging them, or miiing with 
them ; 4*d hence, apart from his sincere anxiety 
to cheer Ellen by a kind of scene he knew she 
enjoyed, he now insisted, notwithstanding her 
unusual objection on the score of unusual bad 
spirits, upon having her company to the Tobins. 
There were, too, other little helping motives ; 
for Mr. Pratt was not a man to do any thing 
without well understanding why and where- 
fore, and nicely dividing every cause to action. 
Darby Roach bad informed him that Miss 
D'Arnell might be at the wedding ; and, first* 
he wished to observe closely the lady who, at 
present, seemed to stand between him and a 
favourite object; second, he had heard she was 
proud and lofty, and not likely to be a favou- 
rite with the common people, while his daughter 
Ellen was mild and bending, and beloved by 
them, far and wide, and he was anxious to 
have the young ladies contrasted, that Ellen 
might bear away all the good-will, part of which 
must naturally extend to himself; next, h* 

e 5 



82 PETER OF THE CASTL$. 

would fain observe if Cotteril's report of Red- 
mond's present fate had reached Miss D'Ar- 
nell, and, if so, what effect it was likely to 
produce upon her ; and from that effect, whe- 
ther or no the lady loved his prot6g£ ; and 
lastly — though, perhaps, we should not say lastly 
— he wanted to avail himself of something like 
a public occasion to express certain opinions 
touching the conduct of the boy, and his own 
asserted feelings towards him. 

A river flowed between Mr. Pratt's house and 
the village through which he must pass to the 
place of festivity : after riding about two miles 
along the road that ran parallel to this river, he 
and Ellen had to turn to the right over the . 
bridge which led into the village; and when about 
half way across, they commanded an uninter- 
rupted view of the principal street, running be- 
fore them in a continued line, against a steep 
and rugged ascent that was still to be their 
way to s Tobitfs house. 

They had emerged, slowly walking their hor- 
ses, upon the bridge, when a poor, wretched 
looking man, whom both seemed with some in- 
terest to recognize, passed them from behind, 
at a good pace. He was about fifty years old, 
tall, bare-headed, with his profuse and sun- 



PJETKE OF THE.CASTIiE. 88 

burnt brown hair matted, and falling down 
in strings, until it met a tangled beard, which 
touched his breast ; his body was covered with 
what can be called nothing but a bundled patch- 
work of rags, of different colours, rudely stitch- 
ed together, and often laid, piece after piece, 
over each other; and this covering descended to 
his knees, and was girt round his waist with a 
hay-rope, denominated in Ireland " suggaun ;" 
a small-clothes of similar construction peeped 
from beneath it; his legs and feet were bare. 
Under his left arm he tucked a little bundle of 
twigs, dried potatoe-stalks, and a few straws, 
securely tied up with another "suggaun," which, 
again, the Irish peasant would call his " bresna" 
or day's gathering for the evening^ fire; with 
the hand of the same arm he held, over his 
shoulder, the neck of a wallet, which hung, 
half filled, at his back, and with the other 
grasped a long, knotty, polished walking-staff. 
Thus, at a first view, the poor man might only 
present an appearance of mendicant misery and 
squalidness, and attract no particular notice 
distinct from the various other sets of vagrant 
beggars, who, before and behind him, shuffled 
along towards the rendezvous of good living for 
the day, namely, Mickle Tobitfs house ; but if 



84 PETEB OF THE CAftTLV. 

one looked a second time at him, or observ- 
antly contrasted him with his seeming bre- 
thren, some peculiar character was visible. 
Although his eye dwelt immovably on the 
ground ; although long past his prime of bodily 
strength; and, as has been noticed, although 
laden with the wallet, he walked perfectly 
upright-not even his head or neck following the 
downcast and fixed habit of his glance ; his brow 
was commanding, though self-abased and hum* 
bled; his nose, the only feature to be seen, 6f 
fine large mould ; his bare legs, though tanned 
by weather, and showing some of the stringy 
sinuosity of approaching age, were beautifully 
and even delicately shaped ; and his long, firm, 
measured tread— during which the feet turned 
outward in that pleasing evenness symmetry 
confers, and that the dancing-master would 
fain ensure to every pupil— conveyed a notion 
of native and early loftiness of nature, of which 
the physical impression could not yet be lost 
even amid accumulated misery and humiliation. 
" Ah, poor Padhre na-Moulh, father," said 
Ellen, as he passed them, walking, as nearly as 
their horses would permit, in the middle of the 
bridge — " and is he, too, going to be the better 
of a day of feasting ?" 



x 



_ PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 86 

*. Peter, how do you do, to-day?'' asked 
Mr. Pratt, No verbal answer was expected* 
because it was known that, whether from a na- 
tural want, or a wayward, insane, or, perhaps, 
religious cause, Peter never uttered a word, 
although he gave clear proof of hearing and un- 
derstanding whatever was spoken to him;— no 
reply was, we say, expected from his lips, but 
Mr. Pratt paused, as he had often vainly done 
before, in hopes that the poor object would 
show, by some sign or action, a return to his 
greeting. 

" The unfortunate man has not heard you, 

Sir," said Ellen, when no notice of the salute 

came from the mendicant. " How are you, 

Padhre ?* she proceeded ; willing to relieve her 

father (for she knew him well) of the little 

disappointment she thought he would feel at 

having his condescension go for nothing: and 

the moment her voice sounded in his ear, Peter 

stopped ; drew up to let them pass ; while they 

did so, bowed his head to his breast, two or 

three times, in a lowly, respectful manner, 

and then kneeling in the rough, and miry 

road, moved his lips, his eyes still down, 

as if in a prayer for the young lady. This 

result did not, however, gratify Mr. Pratt: 



86 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

for he felt that, as Peter was nearer to. them 
when he spoke, than when his daugh- 
ter repeated his question, the man might 
have answered, had he wished, in the first 
instance. 

" Musha, Padhre, will the penance never 
go away ?" asked the leader of a band of beg- 
gars, who, while he knelt, quickly shambled 
by him. 

" Or the speech never come back to you, 
Padhre, aroon ?" queried another, in a tone half 
pitiful, half ironical. He took no notice, either 
in anger or observation, of these questions. 

" Bags, bags ! halloo, bags !" shouted a string 
of village urchins, as they scampered over the 
bridge, applying to him a nick-name derived 
from his often carrying more than one wallet in 
his wandering excursions. Still he took no no- 
tice, not' even by raising his eyes or knitting 
his brows, or as much as stopping the move- 
ment of his lips. 

" Go home to th' ould castle, or it'll be fallin' 
on all the good goold an' silver you do be al- 
ways hiding in it ! v — cried one of the imps, re- 
collecting a popular rumour, one of many con- 
nected with him, that endowed poor Peter with 
a miserly appropriation of the results of his 



PETEA OF THE CASTLE. 87 

habits of receiving, rather than of asking, alms 
from the charitable. 

" Go home to it, an* mend the brogues for 
the fairies !" cried a second, embodying in this 
exhortation another piece of village gossip, to 
the effect, that any one who had courage enough 
(and few, at least among" the present bold 
speakers, had) to peep, in evening twilight, 
about the precincts of the old ruin, in which he 
had chosen to take up his residence, might see 
sundry pairs of dilapidated brogues and shoes, 
laid cunningly among the weeds and rubbish, 
to be taken in by Peter overnight, and returned, 
at his hands, well pieced and patched, before 
the dew left the grass in the morning. 

Still he remained abstracted. * At last, " Hal- 
loo, hiss ! tear him, Bully P* — " tear him, Bar- 
ker P — " cut the sthrings iv his bag, an' let the 
day's getherin o* money out !" screamed many of 
the idle boys, as they accompanied their cruel 
commands to their various dogs, with showers 
of mud on the passive creature : indeed it was 
their custom, when they caught Peter free, in 
the open day-light, from the mystery and se- 
clusion of his rather dreaded old castle, thus to 
revenge themselves on him for the terror and 



88 PETER OF THK CASTLE. 

provoking discussion his name always excited 
at a distance. 

And at last, the apathetic or humble man, 
showed some sense of the indignities cast upon 
him. He showed it,however, but slightly. While 
the mire descended on his bare head and ragged 
person, and while the barking and snarling curs 
ran on, — half afraid, though, like their masters 
— to worry him, his calm brow, and worn, sal- 
low cheek reddened for a moment, his eye, 
still hidden by its lid, shot askance at the 
mean and vicious animals, and his sinewy 
hand grasped its long staff more firmly ; — but 
the next instant, and before one of the bye- 
standers interposed to protect him, the muscles 
of the hand relaxed; die brow and cheek faded 
back to their deep-pale hue; the eye again 
dropped on the ground, and, while nothing but 
a rolling tear gave evidence of the abiding smart 
of human feelings, he bowed his head upon his 
breast, more lowlily than when he had seemed 
to salute the young lady, and as if in abject sub- 
mission to all the suffering he might be doomed 
to endure. 

It was Mr. Pratt, who, at the instance of his 
shocked and much affected daughter, stept in 
between Peter and the crowd of persecuting 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 89 

brats and curs. With loud threats, and one 
or two cuts of his horsewhip, the whole pack, 
human and canine, were forced to desist, and 
run shrieking and hallooing over the bridge, 
still keeping up their inveterate though baffled 
humour, and sure of escaping at a distance, the 
rough treatment promised to them on the spot. 
But they had not gained the end of the bridge, 
when their anticipations of getting off with 
impunity met a sudden check. A large dog, 
of the Newfoundland species, who, it would 
seem, had, from some point of the high road 
leading to the bridge, become aware of their 
proceedings, swept in amongst them, and dis- 
regarding his own currish brethren, got down 
the boys by twos and threes, worrying them 
and shaking them, with his mouth placed on 
their breasts, and jumping, — while their cries of 
terror now rose shrill, — from one to another, ac- 
cording as the brat he had just been punishing, 
and had left for a second and third, began to 
betray any symptoms of a wish to get up and 
run away. It was well for them the indignant 
and noble animal lacked, from extreme old age, 
teeth and tusks to eke out his willing mind to 
chastise them on this occasion, as, perhaps, his 
highly roused spirit might have led him to more 



90 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

violence than his contempt warranted. He was, 
indeed, for a dog, evidently very old, as the 
thinness of his shaggy coat at a glance inti- 
mated, and even as the result of his vehement 
exertions confirmed ; for Mr. Pratt observed 
that the sudden fury which had given him an 
unusual vigour soon exhausted itself : he began 
to stagger and pant, often falling by the side of 
his foe in a vain effort to renew his attack : and 
at last, as one by one the young ragamuffins 
escaped, he had barely strength enough left to 
run, at a crippled pace, towards the spot where 
Padhre-na-Moulh now stood, and dropping at 
his feet, with low and complaining, and, it 
might appear, sympathizing cries, acknowledge 
his decrepitude to his master. 

And now the terrified youngsters were making > 
the best of their way clear off the bridge, when 
it seemed that Retribution had not yet emptied 
her vials upon them. At the narrowest part, 
where the bridge clumsily joined the road, their 
leaders suddenly stopped ; fell back, throwing 
their rear into confusion ; and, one after the other, 
yelled out — " Here's Daddy Clayton ! Daddy 
Clayton ! an' Thomaus Foddhah * by the side iv 
him!" — " Here's Daddy Clayton, widhiscrook- 

* Long Tom. 



FETER OF THE CASTLE. 91 

ed paw, an' Thomaus wid his long wattle !" — 
Padhre-na-MouhYs fairy-men, that follys him 
every where he goes, an* stops wid him all 
night, to watch him for the good people ! — 
They'll kill us stone dead for meddlin' or 
makin' wid him ! they'll spile us, an* they 11 
rune us, so they will — murther !" 

Mr. Pratt, looking down the bridge, saw the 
two old men spoken of. One was very much 
bent and withered; the other, besides answer- 
ing to his epithet in great height of stature, 
was emaciated almost to a skeleton appear- 
ance ; and both were clad in mendicant ap- 
parel, and loaded with mendicant wallets, great 
and small. Taking possession, one at either 
side, of the only outlet through which the boys 
could escape to the road, Daddy Clayton, the 
crippled little man, assuming, in his pinched 
and shrivelled features, an expression of un- 
earthly spite and venom, and holding as high 
as he could the left arm, truly alluded to by the 
urchins as crooked, and, still higher, his good 
right arm, of which the hand held a curved 
stick,— thus preparing himself, he stepped cau- 
tiously and ominously towards them in one di- 
rection : while, from the other, Thomaus brand- 
ished aloft, in both hands, the formidable 
weapon that had also made part of their anti- 



98 PETER 07 THE CASTLE. 

cipations. As the first-mentioned personage 
continued -to steal on, something in the manner 
of a starved and prudent cat on a fine herd of 
young mice, the despairing boys, chiefly fright- 
ened by the hobgoblin motion he contrived to 
give his withered member, screamed aloud in 
agony, and ran towards the other side; but 
there encountering Thomaus and his wattle, 
their cries rose louder and louder : they shed 
tears ; they fell on their knees, or they danced 
on their heels in a frenzy of terror; and it was 
not till Peter's faithful followers had supposed 
them sufficiently punished in apprehension, that 
they finally ceased the threats they had perhaps 
never meant to carry into effect, and permitted 
the unfeeling young offenders to make a retreat 
to the road. 

Mr. Pratt and Ellen knew these old men also; 
and, after waiting to enjoy the panic they had 
inflicted on the village rout, turned to meet 
them. Before leaving Peter alone, where he 
stood, Ellen dropped a piece of money by 
his side, which the poor wretch drew nearer to 
him with the end of his staff, and then inclining 
his head towards the two old men, as if to fix 
their notice on it, began to walk, closely followed 



PETEH OF THE CASTLE. 93 

by his limping dog, and in his usual measured 
pace, to the village. 

Daddy Clayton, keenly observing, with his 
little ferret-eyes, the whole proceeding, hobbled 
past Mr. Pratt and his daughter to pick up 
the silver piece, as if in the discharge of a 
usual duty ; and his companion, standing still, 
addressed Ellen. 

u The thousand blessin's on your open hand, 
and on your open heart, an' may they never fail 
you* 

" Is he quieter in his mind lately, Tho- 
maus V inquired Miss Pratt. 

" We b'lieve its asier the mind is wid him, a 
colleen ; bud as dark as ever ; an' waker, maybe: 
an* the heart growin' sicker an' heavier. 7 * 

" Does he object as much as formerly to your 
following him, and taking care of him ?" asked 
Mr. Pratt. 

" Nien, Sir:— iv an odd time, maybe, the 
staggers 'ill take him, an' then he'll put the roars 
out iv his mouth that 'ud frighten any Christhen 
to hear, at the dead o' night, all manin' for us to 
lave him alone in his ould fiook, tho' he never 
says the word : bud when we spake to him, and 
raeon wid him, an' call to his mind that we're 
put upon his thrack to watch him, an 9 help him, 



94 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

an 1 hendher him from thro win' himsef wid the 
river, agin, all by the ordhers o' them he knows 
well, an 1 is behoulden to obey, the poor sowl 
comes round in the turn iv a hand, an' kneels 
down a start, an' gets up as quite as the child." 

" And who has set you both to watch him, 
Thomaus ?" continued Mr. Pratt. 

" Anan p™ queried Thomaus, evidently with 
a view, in his own way, to evade the subject. 

" "Tis no use to ask, Sir," said Ellen, aside 
to her father ; " I have, myself, often before put 
the question, accompanying it, too, with a good 
bribe for confidence ; but the old men keep their 
secret close." 

" Then they invent a story to give themselves 
a seeming right to follow the passive wretch for 
the charities he receives, or for the purpose of 
surrounding him and themselves with one of the 
superstitious mysteries by which they always 
practise on the credulity and on the purse of 
the vulgar," said Mr. Pratt. 

" It may be so, Sir; but I do not believe it 
is. So then, Thomaus, he now permits you to 
follow him, for the night, into the old building ?** 

" We folly him where we likes, the night an 1 
the day, over the roads, an 1 the bosheens, an' the 
fields an 1 the hills, colleen," answered Daddy 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 95 

Clayton, hobbling back, after securing the lar- 
gess, and speaking in a " cranky , v dictatorial 
tone ; <c an' never ax lave from him, or any one 
for him ; an* if he sits out on the stone, a-top o' 
the hill, we sit at his back the dark night long ; 
or if he walks up an' down in the moonshine by 
the river's side, we walk in his thrack ; an' all 
to do the biddin* 6* them that must have their 
biddin 1 done ; an* no thanks to any other body 
for doin 1 iv id, or for axin' why we do it, more- 
betoken ." 

" Well, Daddy ; no dne is asking you now, 
to put you in such bad humour," resumed 
Ellen, with a smile ; " it will be enough for us 
to know that he is safe, and in want of nothing." 
" Safe an' sound he is, an 1 safe an sound 'ill 
be, an* no fear iv him doin' the harum on himself, 
sence the winther's night we started upon him 
at the wather's side, when he didn't think we 
war so near him ; an' pult him, like the knot 
6* black weeds, out o' the sthrame; for them 
that 's kep for other things don't get the lave 
to hang, or dhrown, or burn, at their own bid- 
din', till the time is in it to be called to another 
place : an' nothin is he in want iv, becase the 
Christhens won't let him ; an', I tell ye agin', 



96 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

becase there 's others to keep him an 1 us, if the 
good Christhens never opened a hand to us on 
our road, the long year round." 

" Come, my love," whispered Mr. Pratt; " let 
us leave these rude and silly beggars :" and he 
silently turned his horse once more towards the 
village. 

" Good day, Thomaus ; good day, Daddy, * 
said Ellen, as she joined her father. 

" A good day to you" answered the person 
last addressed, in a shrill, emphatic tone ; then 
sinking his voice, and turning to his companion, 
" the good day, an' the merry one, is the laste we 
can wish you, when it 's to be the short one ; an 1 
for him that '3 by your side, a curse on the day 
he cum among us, an' every day he stops wid 
us, to the last :— an' that day 'ill be Mack enough 
to him, widout our sweet blessmV 

" It 's a thruth it will, Daddy," responded 
Thomaos, as both sat down in a broken niche 
on the bridge, and there, propping themselves 
on their sticks, began a close " shanachus" It 
was a clear, fair day, though one in February ; 
the sky was blue and white ; the river beneath 
than ran sparkling and transparent ; its banks 
were green and fresh ; at their backs, in the dis- 
tance, rose high grounds, green and cheery too, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 97 

with, towering above them, remote peaks of 
azure hills ; birds twittered by ; the little bum 
of happy or bustling life echoed from the near 
village; every thing and every creature, they 
excepted, seemed part of one whole being, joyous 
in a first escape from winter into coming spring. 
But they sat in the shattered niche, withered, 
discontented, and frozen into a state of body 
and mind that owned no promise of returning- 
vigour or joy ; disconnected with the life and 
freshness about them ; alone, but for their own 
fellowship, amid men and nature ; existing only 
to await the hourly-expected call of death ; and 
suggesting, from the unearthly expression of 
their features, from their discourse and their 
sentiments, either that — (in recollection of the 
village gossip) — they had been sent hither as 
the agents to a fearful purpose, or that, disgust- 
ed with a being they could no longer enjoy, and 
hating those they must leave to enjoy k, their 
tongues might only descant on the fatal haps 
which " flesh is heir to," and, not gratified by, 
summing up even those, give vent to their mixed 
venom and credulity by weaving the omens of 
superstition around the mischances of life. 

" It *s a thruth you Ve savin', Daddy," con- 
tinued Thomaus ; — "a curse is on every day 

vol. in. r 



\ 



98 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

he 's to see ; bud don't tell us the colleen's day 
is to be a short one." 

" She hasn't my ill-will or my bad word, 
Thomaus, for her open hand an' her wiliin 1 
speech to the ould an' the needy ; bud we must 
say our sayin* out, lad, for all that." 

u Did you get the warnin' for her, Daddy ?" 
" She has id on her, for herself, Thomaus, 
as plain as the moon does have the warnin' on 
her, wid the brouch* round her or not round 
her, for the rain, or the frost,' or the storum ; 
she has id on the cheek, white an' sinkin'-in, 
afore its time; an' in the eye, withered an' 
dhroopin', when it's behauldin' to be laughin' 
an' lookin' round for its pleasure ; an' on the lips, 
as blue an' as faded as if the grave spiled em 
aforehand: or if she hadn't id on her, Thomaus, 
why, yes, I seen id for her ; I seen id the bright 
night that Padhre walked as among the lone 
hills, when you couldn't see id, an' he couldn't 
see id, bud I could an' did ; by the side o' the 
long white stone, on the spread o' green grass 
in the wide glin, I saw id standin'; an* in the 
red fire, while I was lookin' at id in the dead o' 
the night, I saw id ; an' in the moanin' that went 

* Mist. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 99 

round her father *s house the last night I passed 
it close, I hard it. She's a lauchy colleen, 
Thomaus ; an 1 not one of 'em that goes in their 
brave clothes, an* rouls in their carriages, an* 
pets up for the ladies an* the queens o' the earth, 
more desarvin' iv a long long life to take their 
pleasure in, an' show their pride in, an' laugh 
at the thought iv bein' young, an' rich, an* 
comely; she's all this, Thomaus, an' more 
than this, that could be reckoned up, bud she 
must hear an', heed the call, Thomaus; ay, 
while many an" 1 ould, an* withered, an' despised 
thing stops behind her, Thomas''— - the speaker 
grinned a malicious smile, as, resting his chin 
upon the hand that was propped by his stick, his 
little red eyes fastened on those of his compa- 
nion — " an' many a crature that could be her 
father's father crawls the earth she lies in, 
Ailleen-bawn * must hear an' heed id, lad." 

" Ochown, ochown, Daddy; the sod lie light 
on her, then ; bud it 11 be a lesson to 'em all. An' 
so, Padhre 'ill never have his way an' his wish 
to make her an' the gonjoon come together ? an' 
young Redmand-dhuiv f must go a wivin to ano- 
ther, bud not a betther ?" 

* Fair Ellen. + Black Redmond. 

784.UO 



100 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

". Ay, ay, gossip ; Padhre 'ill be crossed in 
that wish, an* the proud go^oon 'ill live to look 
down upon her fresh sod, an' dhrop the tears, 
the scaldin' tears on id, that I don't begrudge 
him, if he loves an' likes her as Padhre thinks 
he does, or wants him to do ; he '11 live for this, 
Thomaus, if his own warnin' does not come 
aforehand ; an' I 'm lookin' for id to come, lad, 
an' the best prayers I say is put up that I may 
see it soon.* 1 

" An' that you may, Daddy : an' there 's as 
good as two amins to your prayer ; he had ever 
an' always the dark look, an' the distant word, 
an' the close hand, for us an' our sort. ,J 

" An* no later nor the night he cum among 
us, in Padhre 's house, to discoorse him, afther 
the sassenach upstart gave him the could side 
o' the dour, did you mind, Thomaus, the way 
he spoke to you an* me, an' looked on us, 
an" stamped at us, for crossin' him on Pad- 
hre 's thrashold, as if we war the dirt o* the 
ground he walked on, an' he the king o' the 
earth, far an' near? But come, Thomaus; it's 
time for us to be goin' to look afther the crature 
that wants an eye upon him ; an' the weddin 1 
faste is waitin\for us, lad; an' the comely bride 
waitin' for our blesshT ; an' their music, an' 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 101 

their dancin', an' their carousin' can't go on 
wid a heart, unless we're by to be th< betther 
iv id*, morya. *" 

As he spoke these words in a bitter jeer, the 
old cripple hobbled with his comrade towards 
the village. 

Meantime Mr. Pratt and his daughter rode 
after Peter into the village. In the middle of 
the street, where markets were holden, was a 
rude and shattered stone cross, mounted upon a 
broad base, and overhung by a large lime-tree. 
As they came on, Peter again appeared, sitting 
upon the base of the cross, as if resting him- 
self, or perhaps patiently awaiting the arrival 
of his old warders, his dog couched at his feet, 
a crowd of curious or commiserating people 
standing around, and, in an outer circle, a se- 
cond array of village brats, cautiously, out of 
respect to the dog, applying to him the popular 
nick-name already mentioned, and well disposed 
to annoy him, as far as they dared, in other res- 
pects. The father and daughter felt anxious 
to protect him from further insult. 

" Get up, good Peter," said Mr. Pratt, ad- 
dressing him in a kind tone as they passed. He 
did not move. 

* This implies a sneer. 



102 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

"Do, Padhre, get up, for God's sake, and 
come with us to the wedding,'' echoed Ellen. 

He bowed his head, but did not rise. 

" Stand up, my son, 7 ' exhorted the aged but 
mild voice of a third speaker from behind; 
and Ellen and her father were joined by Mr. 
Fenelly, the parish priest, and by his young 
and healthy-looking coadjutor, both mounted, 
and also on their way to Mickle Tobin's. Be- 
tween these gentlemen and Mr. Pratt and his 
daughter, the greetings of acquaintances en- 
sued ; while, at the first sound of the old 
priest's voice, Peter started, and letting his 
hand slide downward along his staff, knelt and 
moved his lips. 

" Rise, my son, rise, and put a trust in Him 
who will soon bring you the peace of mind, 
and the blessing at last," continued the old 
clergyman : and after giving two or three very 
lowly obeisances, the wretched man stood up, 
and took his way against the hilly road that 
led out of the village. 

" Poor fellow ! w said Mr. Pratt, speaking to 
Mr. Fenelly ; " whatever may be the cause of 
it, his present misery seems great and abject: 
Ellen and I, Sir, were making conjectures about 
it, before you came up ; and perhaps your ex- 
perience could assist us in them," 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 103 

" His troubles, and, if any, his crimes, Mr. 
Pratt," continued the priest coldly, " are, we 
must suppose, solely between his God and him ; 
but do you take our road, my dear Miss Nelly? 
— are you for a bit of the bridecake ? — come, 
then," — having received a languid smile of as- 
sent — " let an old man play the cavalier at your 
bridle ;" and without further observation on 
the subject thus rather peremptorily waived, 
the party rode in Peter's track against the 
hill. 



104 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 



CHAPTER V. 

On account of the steepness and ruggedness 
of the ascent, the whole party -walked their 
horses very slowly until they gained level 
ground, from which a wide view of the adja- 
cent country was commanded— of the river and 
the river's banks above and below the bridge, 
of the undulating lands at the far side of the 
clear inland stream, and of other more maje^ 
tic grounds lying farther on than their present 
place of destination, but in a continuation of 
the same route. Below, at the backs of swell- 
ing inequalities, that hid a view of them 
from the bridge, appeared a scattered group 
of monastic ruins, in one of which Peter had 
taken up his residence, and from which he 
derived his title of Peter-na-Moulh, or Peter 
of the Castle. These relics of a time, a com- 
munity, and institutions gone by, were about 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 105 

half a dozen in number ; some, the remains of 
arched cloisters; some, square castles, much 
bedded in their own accumulated fragments, 
and in the soil, weeds, and other vegetation 
that ages had deposited and matured around 
them; and some showing shapes so curious 
and peculiar, as to give rise to various surmises 
touching their purpose on the part of all su- 
perficial visitors, and to considerable doubts on 
the part of more antiquarian and learned ob- 
servers. Village guides would point out such 
and such a little edifice, internally canopied 
by ivy that had rioted up its sides, as, at a for- 
mer time, appropriated to uses, which, with- 
out a violent anachronism, the hearer could not 
force himself to believe were then contemplated; 
and the general, and, we believe, even select no- 
tion was, that, many centuries ago, here had 



flourished an important town, grown up under 
monastic patronage, of which the greater por- 
tion was now crumbled off the face of the 
earth, and of which the very name was for- 
gotten. 

Mr. Pratt, his daughter, and the two clergy- 
men drew up on the top of the ascent that of- 
fered the varied prospect we have sketched, and 
stopped some time to look around them. Mean 

f 5 



106 PETER OF THE CASTLfi, 

while Peter, whom they had not overtaken since 
he left the village before them, was seen turning 
up the little bridle-road, that, at the right, some 
hundred yards distant, led directly to the festive 
house; and his two old guardians came close to 
the party, ere they, too, followed in his steps. 

At last, they gained the yard before the 
small farmer's door; and the first thing that 
challenged notice was dark groups of beg- 
gars, strewed all around, men and women, old 
and young ; some sitting, or loungingly reclin- 
ing on the ground; some standing; but all 
laughing, or gabbling loudly, or smoking ; while 
a few sang out, at the top of their lungs, the 
most festive, congratulatory, or ecstatic songs. 
These people seemed, in fact, quite at home — 
quite at their ease ; their stations taken up al- 
together as matter of right, and themselves 
deposited here as part of the wedding-furni- 
ture. Their bearing showed a conclusion that 
there was abundance of food in prepara- 
tion ; " enough an' lavins" for them all. Not 
less than one hundred could have been assem- 
bled ; and perhaps, confident of their numbers, 
their state of easy expectation of good treatment 
might be intended and received as a compliment 
to the substance and consideration of the house. 



*ETE& OF THE CASTLE. 107 

Standing alone, in a remote corner, his back 
resting against the low wall that surrounded the 
yard, his person and head drawn up, and his 
eyes bent on the ground as usual, appeared 
Padhre-na-Moulh. Beer had been distributed 
among the mendicants ; and one or two came 
to him, in a way half brotherly, half sneering, 
to offer a draught. He shook his head in 
token of refusal. Another, producing his own 
travelling horn, invited him to taste " a dhrop 
o* mouth-wather," meaning whiskey. This kind- 
ness he also declined in a similar way. His old 
friends now entered the yard, and walking to 
the pump, procured a bowl of water, and 
brought it to him. Of the primitive beverage 
he drank sparingly; then pacing towards the 
middle of the yard, stooped and gathered up a 
few raw potatoes, dropt there accidentally, put 
them into his wallet, and finally strode beyond 
the precincts of the house of feasting, and sat 
down in a near field, as if to await the attend- 
ance of Thomaus and Daddy Clayton, who could 
not so soon be expected to give up the chances 
of the day. Ellen thought she might read, in 
his present proceedings, the conduct of a man 
upon whom the trade of begging the morsel 
that supported him was necessitously imposed ; 



108 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

who came, therefore, upon a kind of professional 
day, to a chief mart for his business ; but who, 
having discharged his obligation by picking 
up the few potatoes, turned from a scene of 
human happiness in which he either would 
not or durst not participate. While she regard- 
ed him, and, indeed, while all her party paused 
a moment to take in the scene around, Mr. Fe- 
nelly beckoned the two old men, Peter's com- 
panions ; whispered them, when they came to 
his stirrup; and they were immediately ob- 
served, with looks of mortification and ill-hu- 
mour, to join the poor solitary in the outer 
field, cause him to arise, and follow in his foot- 
steps across the road, and then down a zig-zag 
path, that, owing to the high situation of To- 
bin's house, was seen* to wind over successive 
eminences to the ruins by the river's side. 

The party alighted, gave their horses to a 
crowd of zealous grooms in attendance, and step- 
ped to the house. At the open door they were 
received by the vanithee, dressed in her richest ~ 
clothes, with a face of great business and im- 
portance, and yet with a commanding self- 
possession, as if all the bustle around her was 
no unusual thing, and as if no one should have 
to say that it had put her out of countenance 



PETER OF THE CASTLE* 109 

or equilibrium. She seemed to feel strongly, 
nay, awfully, the responsibility of her situa- 
tion, but to experience, at the same time, a 
full consciousness of supporting it without 
difficulty. At her back appeared her " ho- 
nest man o' the house," attended by four or five 
strapping sons, from all of whom the visitors 
had to undergo, (after respectful obeisances) 
many hearty shakes of the hand, thanks, deep 
and lively, for the honour done to the poor ca- 
bin, and cead-mille-phalteagh, ovet and over 
again. Then, preceded by the dame, and sur- 
rounded by the men as a guard of honour, they 
were allowed to march along. 

The first apartment traversed was, of course, 
the kitchen ; and here were such immense fires; 
such roasting and broiling; and such a fuss 
among such a crowd of women, — half composed 
of the real domestics of the house, half of all the 
bride's elderly friends and relations, come far 
and near to assist in the preparation of her wed- 
ding feast ; — and such an oppressive heat ; and 
such loud talking among them, as they gave 
twenty different orders about dressing the vi- 
ands ; and such a steam, and such a fume, that, 
after a look or two, quite sufficient to prove 
they need not be hungry for the evening, the 



110 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

guests, still following the vanithee, and enclosed 
by their body guard, were glad to pass into an 
inner room. 

This was a bed-chamber, containing a cur* 
tained bed, " dacent to look at," and a rude 
chest of drawers at the other side. A flank of 
damsels were sitting on the edge of the bed, who, 
$s soon as the visitors entered, and that they 
had stood up to drop their " curtshies, ,> seemed 
to stand on the defensive ; glance prepared for 
glance, and a smart wprd for every question. 
They were dressed in white ; or, as nearly in 
white as circumstances would allow; and had on 
close-fitting caps, with great bunches of white 
ribbon at one side. It need not further be de- 
clared that they were the friends and handmaids 
of the bride-elect, who, in the back-ground, sit- 
ting sideways, on the other edge of the bed, and 
pretending to be undistinguished among the 
throng, hung back, in appropriate timidity, until 
she was formally, and not without some native 
graces of action and manner on her part, intro- 
duced by her father to the important strangers. 

As the bustle of presentation was just sub* 
siding, the vanithee, putting her face to the lit- 
tle window of the chamber, while the clink of 
horse's hoofs echoed in the yard, accompanied 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. Ill 

by a congratulatory hum among the swarm of 
beggars, gave a cry of great interest and plea- 
sure, and adding, " Miss Rosy, Miss Rosy ! — 
your thousand pardons, genteels — come, gor- 
900ns, come — w hurried out, attended by her 
husband and sons. Mr. Pratt, also looking into 
the yard, saw, descending from a beautiful long- 
tailed little palfrey, the young lady about whom 
he latently felt so much curiosity. A grave- 
looking servant, that had ridden with her to the 
house, came respectfully to proffer his assistance 
as she quitted her saddle ; but waving her hand 
towards an elderly female whom he had left sit- 
ting in a pillion upon his own horse, Miss Rosa- 
lie D'Arnell bounded lightly, gracefully, and 
only with the energy of youthful spirit, to the 
ground. 

A moment after, the hand of her old com- 
panion drawn under her arm, and preceded by 
the dame of the house, and, as the first party 
had been treated, surrounded by the male 
guard of honour, the young lady entered the 
little chamber. Mr. Pratt inwardly acknow- 
ledged, with a mixture of surprise, admiration, 
and discontent, the superior attractions Miss 
D'Arnell at a first view presented. She was 
tall ; roundly, but elegantly formed ; her com- 



112 - PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

plexion almost brown, yet glowing with sub- 
dued colour ; her hair and eyes black, and alto- 
gether something of a foreign character stamped 
on her features. Her air was lofty ; but not of 
the kind of loftiness he had been led to antici- 
pate ; for blandness and smiles tempered it to 
fascination. She wore a riding habit of green 
cloth, of which the flowing skirts were tucked 
up and thrown over her right arm ; and, instead 
of the man's hat generally affected, with a very 
bad grace, by our fair young equestrians, a 
Spanish-shaped one, of black silk, looped up 
in front, and half hid in a clustering plume 
of black ostrich feathers. In face, gait, expres- 
sion, and costume, her elderly associate seemed 
decidedly a foreigner. 

When, with rapid step, Miss D'ArneH en- 
tered the little, apartment, Ellen was sitting 
beside the bride, holding the hand she had just 
shaken, and in the act of pronouncing a name, 
in consequence of Kitty TobhTs inquiries, that 
brought tears to her eyes, and made her heart 
pant in her bosom. The young ladies ex- 
changed glances, as the new guest, observing 
Ellen, stopped a moment at the threshold; 
mutual blushes, perhaps the result of a com- 
mon thought, crimsoned their cheeks; and a 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 113 

shade of embarrassment began to steal over the 
circle, when Miss D'Arnell rallied, advanced 
smiling to the bride, took her hands, made her 
some pretty compliments, in pure English, but 
with a few peculiarities of accent : then turned 
gracefully, freely, yet, perhaps, condescendingly, 
to Ellen, saluted her also; then to the old 
priest; and, while Mr. Pratt's courtierly bow 
received but a slight and queen-like notice, seem- 
ed to lavish upon him the greetings of a close 
and kindly intimacy. 

A renewed embarrassment might have 
ensued, were it not soon understood that the 
introduction of the guests into this apart- 
ment, was merely for the purpose of allowing 
them to disencumber themselves of their out- 
ward dress, here officiously to be laid up till 
the hour of departure.* As Miss D'Arnell, 
Ellen, Mr. Pratt, and the priest, accordingly 
proceeded to doff their habits, hats, and great 
coats, one of the bride's brothers^ the best 
looking of the guard of honour, addressed the 
former mentioned lady, with a well-managed 
waggery of face, voice, and manner, peculiarly 
Irish. " Tundher-an'-ouns, Miss! — we ax par- 
don" — pretending to be shocked at his own 
abruptness — " but, what *s the rason, wid your 



114 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

ladyship's lave, you come with the boots on ?" 
as his eye glanced dolefully at her feet— •" by 
the powers o' man, Miss, you '11 want the use 
o* the legs to-night, an' sure its kilt you '11 be 
with them boults on you, God bless you." 

Laughing, in a kind of tolerating good -hu- 
mour, while her old bonne muttered " fi done? 
and stepped close to her side, Miss D'Arnell 
called to her servant, and soon satisfied her 
guardsman that she had foreseen she should 
" want the use of her feet :" the man producing 
a pair of dancing slippers, which she explained 
were to replace her boots at the proper time. 
This attention to circumstances on the part of 
the greatest guest, and the bountiful wish it 
showed to come prepared for the sports of the 
night, did not fail to command a loud murmur 
of delight from every creature present, and 
Mr. Pratt felt uncomfortable at seeing his 
drooping daughter, fully beloved as she was, 
only second in consideration and interest, where 
he had reckoned on seeing her predominate, par- 
ticularly as the only child of the bridegroom's 
landlord. 

" Musha, the light of our eyes you war, 
Miss Rosy," resumed the lad who had provoked 
the scene — " an' them is the darlins o 1 dancin - 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 115 

pumps, sure enough," taking them from the 
servant : — " by Gar, the sight o' them 'ud make 
one dance without the piper — if they'd only go 
on a body," — laying one of them along the sole 
of his 4< own large shoe ; " well, God be praised! 
the likes of sich a little foot as them does for, we 
never hard of afore." 

Again laughing, and, perhaps, blushing in a 
degree, at the sabdued Irish flattery thus paid 
her, on a point about which, we have been told, 
all ladies are anxious, Miss D'Arnell, inatten- 
tive to the surprise expressed in the glances, 
whispers, and fidgets of her old companion, led 
the way, handed out by Mr. Fenelly, from the 
chamber; Ellen, Mr. Pratt, and the young 
priest followipg. 

" She must have heard the report of Redmond's 
present situation," thought Mr. Pratt, as all got 
into motion ; " but it troubles her not ; she does 
not, cannot love him." 

The ladies and gentlemen, attended aS before, 
were again ushered through the heat, gabble, 
and smells of the kitchen, into another room at 
its opposite side. It was a neat, earthen-floored, 
white-washed apartment, of moderate size, hung 
round with those large hide wood prints of 
scripture subjects, (having explanatory rhymes 



116 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

at the bottom) that are to be purchased for 
about one penny each at Irish fairs and mar- 
kets ; particularly remarkable for the hideous 
faces and forms they display as likenesses of holy 
persons ; and which may be truly designated as 
frightful if not impious caricatures of saints, 
angels, and higher beings. 

Here the visitors found a large assemblage of 
young and old ; the young folk predominating, 
however. A piper, seated near the hearth, on 
a three-legged stool, was blowing away, with 
might and main, while two sets, of two couples 
each, danced — as well as they could manage it 
in the limited space prescribed — the old reel of 
four. This was premature, jt may be remarked : 
before the marriage feast, nay, even before the 
marriage itself. Yes ; but, time to spare, and 
a piper at hand, such a group of " boys and 
girls" might keep quiet in Holland, England, 
or even perhaps in Scotland ; not in Ireland. 
Around, by the walls, the lookers-on sat or 
stood, all, of every age and sex, in their holiday 
garbs ; best wigs, best caps, best coats ; and 
every face looking a blithe anticipation of the 
long night of mirth and fun that was surely to 
follow. 

The entrance of the important guests gave no 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 117 

interruption to the dancers, if we except the 
curtsies adroitly dropt by the female Jigurantes, 
in the evolutions of the figure of the reel, and 
one or two ecstatic shouts and capers of recogni- 
tion vouchsafed by their partners. But among 
the old folk, and the young people waiting for 
their turn " on the floor," much anxious and 
smiling bustle took place, which, perhaps, had 
ended in some confusion, but that, a few minutes 
after the party entered, all were summoned to 
the nuptial feast. 

Instantly, the piper stopped; the dancers be- 
came fixed in one position; and every counte- 
nance grew grave at the near approach of the 
time for behaving " dacent." Still heralded by 
the quiet, all-important vanithee, and enclosed 
by their body-guard, the superior guests were a 
third time escorted through the now-subdued re- 
gion of the kitchen, to a door which opened into 
the yard, where they met the bride, her favoured 
handmaid, and other friends ; and then across 
part of the yard, to the barn ; which was, and, 
on all such occasions is, the banquet-hall in Ire- 
land ; and on other occasions, too, of a very dif- 
ferent character, by any further allusioji to which 
we will not damp the present time of mirth and 
feasting. 



N 

\ 



118 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Around three sides of the walls of the spa- 
cious barn, tables, constructed for the evening, 
were ranged, with — about that place called the 
head — chairs for the more considerable guests, 
and, at either side of the remainder of the board, 
forms for all comers. Inside, at the walls, there 
was barely room for the people to sit down ; as 
much as possible of the area of the barn being 
kept free for dancing. 

Before the chair which the priest was to oc- 
cupy, appeared a huge mass of " corned beef," 
bolstered by a bed of* greens, carrots, and pars- 
nips, and reeking with a fine steam, that rolled 
up in volumes to the wattled roof. To it suc- 
ceeded, at either side, legs of mutton, boiled ; 
shoulders of mutton, roasted ; turkeys and "sa- 
lary" sauce, (no bad things) ; sides of bacon, 
roast geese, fowls, chickens, hams,, legs of mut- 
ton again; and shoulders and saddles again; 
and varieties of the feathered tribe, again and 
again, all the tables round — until the eye became 
bewildered in tracing the abundant monotony. 
To the priest's hand were laid hpttles of wine, 
and more awaited his call in a basket at the back 
of his chair. Cold punch, in great jugs, attend- 
ed on the company lower down. Beer barrels, 
propped in the corners, yielded a dull, plethoric 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 119 

sound, declaratory of their well-filled condition, 
to whatevetf hasty heel knocked against them, in 
passing by. 

Crowds of inferior guests poured in after our 
party, and places were taken, and the feast be- 
gan. Mr. Fenelly, appalled by the mountain of 
beef he saw he had to cut through, requested 
his " coadjutor 1 ' to sit by him, one and the same 
with himself, as it were, to render such assist- 
ance, on the present practical occasion, as might 
indeed be worthy of his official title. Upon Mr. 
Fenelly's right sat the bride, according to eti- 
quette ; upon his left, or rather upon the left 
of his fellow-labourer, the brideVmaid ; next to 
the bride, Miss D'Arnell ; next to her, Ellen; 
next to her, the old foreign lady, looking very 
much amazed; then the vanithee; then the 
bride's friends; and then the female friends, in 
general, of the family and occasion, all that side 
of the table round, according to rank and stand- 
ing m the world, until they ended in the poor 
relations, followers, and even helpers and ser- 
vants ; each and every, be it remembered, of the 
same sex : for the division of sexes, at the two 
sides of the tables, was, though not a general 
practice, as remarkable as the similar divisions 
to be oljseived in a synagogue. Heading the op- 



120 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

posite rank, appeared Mr. Pratt, the first, after 
the bridesmaid, upon the left of the priests; 
below him, the " man o' the house ;" a row of 
" sthrong farmers" followed; that is, the rich- 
est of the class to which old Tobin belonged, 
with Darby Roach and his younger sons among 
them ; after them a more numerous string of 
farmers and farmers' sons, of less degree ; until, 
as at the women's side, very humble folk, includ- 
ing pipers and fiddlers, closed the array. But, to 
Mr. Pratt's surprise, Ristharde Roach, the hero 
of tj^e evening, no where appeared. His land- 
lord looked round for him in vain ; he certainly 
was not to be seen. 

Dinner, or supper, or whatever it may pro- 
perly be called, went on. Legs and shoulders 
of mutton, geese, and turkeys, hams and fowls 
disappeared in a trice, as if they had never been. 
Mr. Pratt officiated at a goose, of which, when 
finally carved, the only piece left on the dish 
was that too well secured by his fork. But the 
most general attack was made upon the heap of 
beef at the head, which, we are forced to admit, 
we cannot describe by a technical name ; it was 
too monstrous for a round merely; the roar- 
ing Bull of Bashan, supposing him vast and eat- 
able as he was famous, could not supply such 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 12l 

a one ; and yet it looked round, too; and, for 
aught we know, might be an entire animal, 
horns and hoofs excepted, coiled up into that 
form, like a collared eel. In truth and reality, 
it completely hid the two priests when they in- 
nocently attempted to sit down to their task; 
and it was only by standing erect to their full 
height, that the gentlemen, working together 
with two great carving knives and forks, while 
all the time their brows teemed in the downright 
labour of the office, could answer the incessant 
demands made upon them, tor we repeat, no 
matter what other dish might be assailed, first 
or last, every creature in the barn would have a 
plate of beef from €€ his reverence.*' And amid 
all this hurry of supplying and consuming, great 
was the din of dishes and plates, knives and 
forks, glasses, jugs, tumblers, and even wooden 
" noggins ;" of mastication and swallowing 
hearty draughts, and smacking lips after them ; 
of asking and assenting ; of gabbling aside and 
across to each other, in quick jest and repartee, 
suggested by some feature or circumstance of 
the occasion ; while, now and then, a young fel- 
low, whose very heart was in the business, and 
whose veins swelled too high with present and 
anticipated pleasure, or some old queer-wigged 

VOL. III. g 



122 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

sire, who unused to liquor during dinner, had 
hobnobbed too freely, owned the influence of the 
joyous uproar, (or* perhaps, deemed it a war- 
rant for the freedom) by emitting, in a short in- 
terval of eating or drinking, an expressive — 
" whoo r — which, echoing to the beggars in the 

yard, was caught up, and duly acknowledged. 
Still, to the increased surprise of Mr. Pratt, Bis- 
tharde, the reputed bridegroom, did not appear. 
The only persons who behaved with any 
considerable degree of quietness during the 
meal, were the bride, her mother, and her five 
brothers. The young girl herself acted her 
part — we do not use the phrase in an invidious 
sense — well and evenly. She seemed serious, 
studiously polite in her returns to the various 
attentions paid her by the priests and her grand 
guests, as if she had reflected on the important 
character she was about to assume, and already 
prepared herself to wear it with due dignity; 
but, added to all this, there was a pensiveness 
about her, and even a tearful suffusion in her 
eyes, and an occasional tremor of her lip, which 
scarcely could be accounted for by the theory 
of maidenly fears and regrets. In fact, she was 
thinking, now and then — but without any im- 
proper reference or association— of the present 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 123 

fate of her foster-brother, Redmond. Her mo- 
ther's demureness of manner has already been 
noticed. Her brothers did not sit to the table, 
but walked about, from guest to guest, ascer- 
taining the wants or wishes of each, or suggest- 
ing gratifications of appetite ; or superintending 
different removes, which rapidly occurred, such 
as the replacing a roast shoulder of mutton with 
a boiled leg of the same ; or helping those of 
the servants who were not, for the moment, en- 
joying themselves, to visit the beer barrels, or 
deposit jugs of punch on the table ; and all this the 
young men went through with a gravity, a pro- 
priety, and an ease of deportment, that remind- 
ed one of well-trained stewards at a more fa- 
shionable public dinner; and that certainly gave 
a pleading notion of the sincere and simple ear- 
nestness of the old hospitality. 

We must hasten to announce the end of the 
feast. All claimants had been silenced, the table 
cleared, a fresh supply of wine and punch placed 
on it, still no bridegroom was forthcoming ; Mr. 
Fenelly stood up to pronounce a grace ; it was 
over; every eye turned on the bride, or to 
the door ; a silence only slightly broken by sly 
whispers and smothered titters ensued ; foot- 
steps sounded in the yard ; an Amazonian wench 

6 2 



124 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

entered with a cake, almost twice as great as a 
Cheshire cheese, and placed it at the soggar^s 
right hand. The two clergymen, with features 
in which solemnity and good hopes, as well as 
good-humour, struggled hard, began to cut and 
delve it very mechanically. The bride looked 
down upon her lap, and the paleness that comes 
from a sense of a rapidly approaching crisis, 
spread over her cheeks. Other steps sounded 
near the door, and blushes, quick and bright, 
chased that paleness away. Two young men 
entered; and the subdued cheer of welcome, 
and the jest and jibe that instantly broke the si- 
lence, proclaimed the bridegroom and his brides- 
man. Their absence, until this moment, was 
all according to biensearife. In Ireland, upon 
the day of her marriage, a country bride is sup- 
posed to know nothing of what is going to hap- 
pen ; crowds of young women, and old ones too, 
are collected to hold her sacred from premature 
contact with her destined husband ; he, like a 
great oaf, reverences the etiquette too, keeping 
far away under the surveillance of his " young 
man; v and just at the nick of time he happens 
to come in, as we see in the present instance, 
quite unconscious, as it were, and with his 
" God save all here,' 1 as his jeering friends call 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 125 

it And the whole of this is " dacency " and 
" manners. 11 

Mr. Pratt looked hard at Ristharde, scarce 
recognizing, in the tight-made, light-clad fellow 
that now appeared, the same person who, cover- 
ed with the dirt of the fields, his knees burst 
through his small-clothes, and his top-coat hang, 
nig clumsily about him, had come with his fa- 
ther, Darby, to invite him to the nuptials. Bis- 
tharde's wedding suit consisted of a close-made 
buck-skin, white yarn stockings, and small- point- 
ed pumps; a flaming yellow vest, a blue coat, to- 
lerably fine, and tolerably cut ; a richly figured 
silk cravat, a smooth chin, and a smartly crop- 
ped head. The only thing about him like his 
former self was his ostentatious sheepiness, as, 
stepping over the threshold of the barn, after 
his bridesman, and keeping one hand in his 
breeches' pocket, and holding his head down, 
he pretended, at thirty years of age, to be 
ashamed and out of countenance before the 
company, and on account of what he was go- 
ing to do. But a certain admixture of waggery 
now ran through this affectation, which Mr. 
Pratt had not observed upon the day before 
alluded to, and which, to a skilful eye, fully 
redeemed "Masther Ristharde" from the charge 



126 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

of real poltroonery. In fact, his manner, and 
particularly his faint sly smile, seemed to say, — 
" Look at me, neighbours ; God help a poor 
boy like me ! musha, see how ashamed I am i" 

By some simultaneous movement, fussy, but 
regular, and of which it might be difficult to 
explain the complex machinery, bride and bride- 
groom confronted each other, on the middle of 
the barn floor, a few seconds after Ristharde's 
entrance. The girl stood with her father at one 
side, her bridesmaid at the other, her mother 
and brothers at her back, and Miss D^Arnell, 
Ellen, and many humbler female friends around. 
Ristharde was also supported by his father, 
Darby, his " young man," Mr. Pratt, and seve- 
ral others. The rest of the company stood up 
in their places. The old priest put on a slight 
badge of his clerical character, opened his mis- 
sal, and making the sign of the cross with his 
outstretched hand, approached the young couple. 
A profound silence at last prevailed. 

The clergyman first demanded of the rela- 
tions of both parties, if their full consent had 
been given to the nuptials. The old vanithee, 
and the two old fathers, rendered a hearty 
affirmative, while their voices were low and bro- 
ken, however, and their own acknowledgment of 



PETEK OP THE CASTLE. 12? 

thus abandoning all future parental authority, 
brought tears to their eyes. Kitty Tobin quick- 
ly caught the infection, and wept and sobbed 
outright; and even Ristharde, to say nothing 
of the bridesmaid and the near connexions and 
friends, male and female, snuffled, and changed 
from one leg to the other, to keep up his cou- 
rage. The next question proposed by the priest 
was directed to himself. 

u Have you, Richard Roach, given your pro- 
mise of marriage to any other woman ?" 

" Och, the divil's the one ! — we ax God's par- 
don, your Reverence, an* your own ten thou- 
sand pardons" — (he had really been thrown off 
his guard, half indignant at the supposition)— 
" but never 's the one, we mane, far and wide, 
from a child up." 

The commencement of this answer had nearly 
disturbed the gravity of all around, but that, 
with a stern brow, Mr. Fenelly brought Rist- 
harde to task for his most untimely tendency to 
an imprecation ; and then the clergyman at once 
proceeded in his office. Before commencing 
the ceremony, he addressed himself to bride and 
bridegroom, upon the nature of the engagement 
into which they were about to enter ; its divine 
ordination and the object of that ordination ; 



128 PETER OP THE CASTI.E. 

flie dispositions in which it ought to be em- 
braced ; and its future duties and responsibili- 
ties. To expect a blessing on their nuptials he 
told them they were bound to appear before 
God and him, in the state of grace, that is, free 
from mortal sin, and full of contrition and sor- 
row for the crime and errors of their former 
life. He told them that their chief impulse in 
becoming man and wife ought to arise from a wish 
to obey a divine command. He warned them, 
that it was only by loving, cherishing and prac- 
tising forbearance towards each other, they could 
hope to fulfil the common duties of their future 
stations, and at the same time, secure mutual 
happiness ; and should God bless them in an 
offspring, (Ristharde again shuffled on his legs, 
and some young girls smiled and bit their lips, 
and others hung down their heads,) he enforced 
upon them, as their paramount duty, the bring- 
ing up such children in the love and fear of Him 
who gave them. 

After this discourse, which was impressively 
delivered, the real business of the evening 
promptly went on. There was some unneces- 
sary delay, towards the middle of the ceremony, 
on account of Bistharde's repeatedly mistaking 
the pocket in which he thought he had put up 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 129 

the ring ; but, " as all his pockets were very 
new, and by coorse, very sthrange to him," 
(his own explanation), " it was no great won- 
dher that he didn't know their ins-an-outs, pat^ 
at the first going off." In a few minutes, 
however, the knot was tied fast enough ; and 
then, to conclude the whole, the new husband 
and wife, their friends, and all in the barn, 
knelt down at the priesfs instance, to join him 
in a devout prayer for a blessing on the mar,, 
riage. 

The first movement of the old clergyman to 
rise, was the signal for a scene of extraordinary 
and uproarious vivacity. At a rustic wedding 
in Ireland, it is a great point of chuckling am- 
bition, among the young fellows assembled, to 
try, not only who shall snatch the first congra- 
tulatory kiss from the new made wife, after her 
lord has saluted her, but, if possible, who shall 
be beforehand with his very self, in that plea- 
sant ceremonial. Accordingly, even while the 
whole company knelt to join in the priest's last 
prayer, Mr. Pratt, prepared for the coming 
event, noticed the anticipating glances of many 
a lad, turned sideways, towards the middle 
of the floor, and the anticipating movements 
too of disposing the limbs into good order for a 

g 5 



180 PETER OF THE CAST LB. 

couching spring; while Ristharde, on his 
part, returned the reconnoitring regards of his 
friends, and was seen to shuffle, very cautiously, 
on his knees, still closer to his bride. One light- 
limbed, short youth, who, during dinner had 
been remarkable for the premature " screeches" 
that now and then rung through the barn, and 
.who seemed a compound of the most restless ani- 
mal spirits, particularly attracted Mr. Pratt's 
notice. Unlike the generality of his compa- 
nions, who knelt on the ground, leaning over 
their form, he knelt on the form, leaning over 
the table, one leg slyly raised, and propping 
his body for a sudden effort, while his light blue 
•eyes fixed, sparkling intensely and almost fero- 
ciously, on poor Kitty Tobin, or, as she must 
now be called, Roach ; and scarcely had the old 
priest begun to rise, and the young couple to 
follow his example, when, like a shell out of a 
mortar, this fellow darted with a high and nim- 
ble vault across the table, scattering, as he des- 
cribed his parabola, glasses, jugs, and plenty of 
good liquor, and breaking through every rank, 
male and female, until, with a " hurroo ! the 
first kiss for Jim Burne !" — he \anded at the 
bride's side, and clasped her in his arms. — But 
Ristharde, to his credit, foiled the attack, vigo- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 131 

rous and well-concerted as it was. In fact, he 
had especially feared the nimbleness and evi- 
dent intentions of this very Jim Burne ; so that, 
even while his young wife rose up, his own arm 
was round her neck, pressing her down; and 
just when the treacherous foe sprung upon her, 
he had only to use the superior strength of his 
disengaged hand, to keep back the mad fellow's 
head, until he ravished, himself, the initiating 
favour which was certainly his due. Jim was 
therefore obliged to content himself with kissing 
the bride the first of all his companions, who 
scrambled, in groups, to enjoy the honour at 
second, third, and twentieth rate ; and Kitty still 
had to undergo the farewell and weeping salutes 
of her parents, brothers, and young and old 
friends, before she could again sit at the nuptial 
board. 

And now began the gathering in of the sog- 
garth's crop. Now the bride-cake went rpund ; 
each piece taken up being replaced by an offer- 
ing, according to the circumstances of the con- 
sumer, while the "God bless you, God bless 
you !* of Mr. Fenelly and his coadjutor escaped 
often and zealously. 

Still, " by course of manners,' 1 Ristharde re- 
mained separated from his bride, though one 



1$2 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

would think he had at last earned the right of 
sitting closely by her side. She returned to her 
place at Mr. Fenelly's right hand ; he was only 
allowed a tite-cMite with her bridesmaid. The 
wedding-cake completed its revolution, and the 
symptoms of a new scene became visible. Two 
pipers, blind old fellows, sleek in face and per- 
son, though rather tattered in attire, shambled 
from among the humbler guests, at the end of 
the barn, and took their seats on two stools, in 
a corner. They were quickly followed by two 
little fiddlers, thin and half-starved, (until that 
evening,) but active and frisky as kittens, who 
also seated themselves, in virtue of their supe- 
rior craft, before the pipers ; and, the orchestra 
thus assembled, a jarring noise of scraping, 
thrumming, squeaking and grunting, proclaimed 
that nuisance for which the most fashionable 
orchestras are celebrated, namely, the prefatory 
tuning of their instruments. 

No sooner had the discord begun than a seri- 
ous consultation might be observed between the 
bridesman and the vanithee, which we are able 
to explain. In the absence of a guest of high 
degree it was the " young man's " privilege to 
dance the first dance with the bride. Now Mr 
Pratt was a guest of distinction ; but, query — • 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 133 

whether he was not also too grave, or too stiff 
in his limbs, to get through the rapid move- 
ments of an Irish jig? — And, indeed, a few 
nods and words from the gentleman soon de- 
cided that he thought he was, and up jumped 
the bridesman to make his scrape to Kitty 
Tbbin. 

She dropped her curtsey, of course, and gave 
her hand ; but fresh tears streamed from her 
eyes, as, in passing behind Ellen, she said, loud 
enough to be overheard by Miss DlArnell and 
Mr. Pratt^ too,-^-" Avoch, Miss, I thought it 
was another I 'd dance the first step with, this 
night." 

All knew she alluded to Redmond. Ellen 
grew pale, and hung down her head ; Miss 
D'Arnell blushed, and did the same thing ; and 
Mr. Pratt said, expressively, — " And I, too, 
Kitty : and you cannot regret the disappoint- 
ment more than I." 

Additional embarrassment followed this re- 
ply, until Ristharde shyly came up to Miss 
D'Arnell, stopped before her, and performed 
his best bow. The young lady, recovering from 
her blush, with a gracious and radiant smile, 
rose up at his demand ; the set for a reel was 
completed ; the orchestra struck out; amid cries 



184 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

of joy and exultation, the dance began ; and 
for some time, nothing further was said, or 
seemed to be felt on the subject; no doubt 
Mr. Pratt himself wished to proceed no farther 
in it, until Ellen should, in her turn, after Miss 
D'Arnell, be out of the way, dancing, as any 
discussion might contradict the account she had 
received of Redmond's absence. 

When, however, the bride and Miss D'Arnell 
had returned to their seats, and that Ellen, 
yielding to the pressing entreaties of her fa- 
ther, had answered the modest claim of one of 
Kitty's brothers, and proceeded with him to 
the middle of the floor, Mr. Pratt renewed the 
topic. 

" Yes, Kitty, you cannot be more sorry for 
the unaccountable absence of your foster-bro- 
ther than I am." 

" Avoch, Sir, an 1 that's sorry enough, if all 
they say be thrue," answered Kitty. 

" Why, what do they say?" in apparent 
surprise. 

fi Unaccountable, Sir?" repeated the old 
priest, distantly, and as if he had not heard the 
bride's reply, nor Mr. Pratt's question arising x 
out of it — " the boy's absence is accounted for, 
at least." 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. . 135 

" Pray let some one tell me how, Sir ; for / 
cannot account for it, and I shall most anx- 
iously receive the information of others." 

M Then yon cannot surely have countenanced 
the report, Sir ?" continued the clergyman. 
Kitty and Miss D'Arnell looked up, and fixed 
their eyes on Mr. Pratt. 

" I do not precisely apprehend what you 
mean, Mr. Fenelly. Several idle persons have, 
indeed, afflicted me with an account of my 
young ward having, since his departure from my 
house, taken up with strange associates; how 
true or how false that story may be, I cannot 
tell ; I can only hope it is utterly false ; my 
sincere love for the boy, and, indeed, my know- 
ledge of his character, feelings, and principles, 
compel me to discredit it ; but " 

u The friends of both, Mr. Pratt," interrupt- 
ed Miss D^Arnell, " of you and of the young 
gentleman, must rejoice at that avowal." 

" God bless him for it !" added Kitty. 

" I do but my duty, and give way to my own 
sincere thoughts when I make it, madam," re- 
sumed Mr. Pratt, while the lady's vivacity 
created a secret sinking of his heart ; — " and so 
convinced am I that poor Redmond, getting 
impatient of control in his professional studies, 



136 PBTER OF THE CASTLE. 

has only taken a wild trip to Dublin or Lon- 
don, perhaps, that all my inquiries concerning 
him have, in total indifference to the rumour 
spoken of, been hitherto made in the hopes of 
finding him in one or other of those cities. But, 
as I was about to remark, the place of his ab- 
sence, wherever it may be, would not give the 
cause of his absence ; and yet that was the 
point, Mr. Fenelly, to which you alluded, I 
believe; and for which, if I understand you, 
you meant to say there was some certain report, 
too?" 

" It was, Sir." 

" Then, Sir, I have only to say that, apart 
from the probable cause I have before mention* 
ed, namely, Redmond's dislike of his studies, 
and his resenting the zealous efforts made to di- 
rect his mind to them, I am quite at a loss to 
account for his disappearance from my house." 

" Thank God, then," said the old priest. 

" Thank God," echoed Miss D'Arnell. Kitty 
uttered, joyously, a similar ejaculation. 

" May I ask you what you mean, Mr. Fe- 
nelly ?" inquired Mr. Pratt. 

" Yes, Sir ; and I will tell you with pleasure. 
Since you know nothing of any other cause, the 
horrible report that attributes another must be 



PET BR OF THE CASTLE. 137 

totally false ; because, to have the least truth, it 
could have come only from you." 

" Exactly. I do not even know the nature of 
the report." 

" Then it is as well, perhaps, not to trouble 
you with it, Mr. Pratt. 11 

" Except that as the guardian, as well of the 
reputation as of the person of Mr. Redmond, 11 
said Miss D'Arnell, " this gentleman ought to 
be made acquainted with every thing which 
concerns him ; particularly with a slander that 
tends to degrade the young man for ever. 1 ' 

" True, my dear, 11 resumed Mr. Fenelly. 

" True, indeed, 11 resumed Mr. Pratt; " and 
therefore I hope I may press my question, and 
again ask what the report is ?*" 

" One that goes to make your ward disgraced 
and dishonoured in his parentage, Sir, 1 ' said the 
priest. 

" Indeed I— 11 pausing, and then adding, in a 
tone of surprise and regret, and as if half speak- 
ing to himself — " how, in the name of Heaven, 
could that have gone out ? v 

" No matter, since it is so false, Sir.* 1 

" And since the gentleman says it is," added 
Miss D'Arnell. 

" Avoch, the blessing on his heart, I say 



188 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

again, for spakin' the word," sobbed Kitty — " I 
always said it was a black story." 

" I never authorized it," resumed Mr. Pratt, 
sighing deeply, as he looked on the table. The 
priest and Miss D'Arnell exchanged glances. 

" Then I have your authority, for the sake 
of our young friend, to contradict it, Mr, 
Pratt ?" 

" Sir? — why, yes — that is*— in fact, Mr. Fe- 
nelly, this much I say ; whatever may be the 
necessitous mystery attendant on my ward's pa- 
rentage, I alone am, I believe, the sole person 
living in whose breast it is deposited, — and de- 
posited, too, under seal of inviolable secrecy: so, 
Sir, you can draw your own conclusions. You 
see I am not authority — am not accountable for 
the impertinent and inexplicable rumour; and 
— I beg your pardon — but as Miss Pratt now 
returns to us, we will, if you please, waive the 
subject;-— there are reasons, Mr. Fenelly, why 
we should ;— -you perceive her delicate state of 
health; and on account of certain impressions 
studiously made by the certain person we spoke 
of, any hint on the matter might prove very 
injurious ; in fact, Sir, I must try to keep these 
reports, and this gossip, close from the poor 
child's ear." 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 139 

Mr. Pratt spoke in a whisper, but in a whis- 
per sufficiently loud to be overheard by Miss 
D'Arnell : and it was overheard by the young 
lady, and produced the effect the speaker in- 
tended. Her dark brow reddened and knit; her 
dark eye flashed ; and, in a second after, the 
blood rushed back to her heart, and her heav- 
ings and pantings could scarce be restrained 
even by the strong spirit that strove to sway 
them. As Ellen came to sit by her side, she 
rose up haughtily, and was about to address 
her old companion, as if with a command to 
retire, when, to the dismay of all around, Miss 
D^Arnell, fixing her eyes on a pane of glass at 
Mr. Prates back, that, during the day, admit- 
ted light into the barn, interrupted herself with 
a short shrill scream, and again sunk in her 
chair; and the surprise of the hearers had 
not a second's time to subside, when Ellen, also 
staring in the same direction, echoed her cry, 
and clung trembling to her rival. 

" What is the matter, my love ?* inquired 
Mr. Pratt, after having turned his eyes, with a 
hundred others, (for the music and*«dancing in- 
stantly stopped) to the little window, and seen 
nothing. 

" Redmond, Sir, — it was Redmond, looking 



140 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

in upon us !" answered Ellen : — " Miss D'Ar- 
nell, was it not ?" 

" Absurdity, child," said her father. 

" It was your ward, Sir," observed Miss 
D'Arnell. 

" His face, an' no other's," added Kitty, who, 
without any show of lively emotion, seemed ab- 
sorbed in the little event ; " Ristharde ! Mick !" 
beckoning to her husband and one of her bro- 
thers — " let ye go out an* see if it wasn't 

" Do so, Ristharde," said Mr. Pratt, " and 
tell him that, every thing forgotten and for- 
given, I shall be made very happy by his pre- 



sence." 



The two young men withdrew. Little was 
said till they returned to inform the party that 
Redmond did not appear about the house. Miss 
D'Arnell made no remark. Ellen and the bride 
were not satisfied; and, at their joint entrea- 
ties, and the added request of Mr. Pratt, a fresh 
party set off to institute inquiries, and a search . 
through the neighbourhood, and also to call, if 
necessary, at that gentleman's house, who now 
professed himself so interested, that he would 
only wait the arrival of Cotteril, and his men 
at arms, to look after the business himself. 
Meantime he urged that, on his or his ward's 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 141 

account, the mirth of the evening might not 
be interrupted; Ellen seconded him; and the 
dance was blithely resumed by the humble 
guests; while Ristharde gave a new piece of 
information, on a different subject. Two men, 
he said, father and son, tenants of a gentleman 
in a distant parish, (the father lately made his 
gamekeeper,) waited, abroad in the house, to 
see the soggarth and Mr. Pratt, on the head of 
a marriage about to be entered into, 

Mr. Fenelly said, he would not see them ; he 
had nothing to do with them ; let them call on 
the priest of their own parish. 

Ristharde explained, that the fair one who 
formed the chief subject of the business, lived 
in Mr. Fenelly's parish, and that, of course, 
the wedding must take place under Mr. Fe- 
nelly's jurisdiction. As to Mr. Pratt, there was 
a crabbed point of law, touching certain set- 
tlements offered by the young woman's father, 
which the strangers were most anxious to sub- 
mit to his honour, and to no one else, far and 
near ; and they had already called at " Square 
Pratt V house, for that purpose. 

Still Mr. Fenellv refused to see the claimants ; 
the girl's father or brothers were the only proper 
persons to apply to ; the present course was irre- 



142 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

gular; the hour was late, too; and two couples 
more were waiting for him in the village. If he 
was to speak to them at all, let them come in 
the morning, to his own door. 

" And what did his honour, Square Pratt, say ?" 
continued Ristharde. " The two poor men look'- 
ed up to his honour more than all the world 
besides, for a settling of the bit o^ law, for 'em ; 
an* they thravelled far that day to spake a word 
to him, an** if Square Pratt woulVt see 'em that 
night, they couldn't see him to-morrow, or any 
day afther, no more than his reverance; for 
they were behoulden to start for home, that mo- 
ment, an 1 be back agin, afore cock-crow." 

" Yes, Sir," said a stranger, who then enter- 
ed, a decent-looking little elderly man, lightly- 
limbed, clad in a green frock, the emblem of the 
profession Ristharde had given him, and, wear- 
ing a small patch on his right eye — u yis, your 
honour, all 's threw that the boy says ; an 1 we 
hope your good honour Tl not be for senchV us 
home without the law we cum so far to get; me 
an* my son Ned, Sir, that's waiten in hopes, 
abroad in the house, your honour." 

" Have deeds been drawn up, my good 
man ?" asked Mr. Pratt, who felt flattered at 



, PETER OF THE CASTLE. 143 

the earnestness of the application from people 
so far out of his district. 

" Yis, Sir, if it 's the parchments your ho- 
nour manes, Ned has 'em in his pocket, Sir." 

" Then I will just step out to him, and not 
interrupt sport here," and Mr. Pratt rose. 

" Do so, dear father," said Ellen, " it may 
do the poor people a service. 1 ' 

" God bless you, Sir ; an* many thanks ; an* 
God bless you, too, Miss, an* if we stood up 
against the whole world besides, never fear the 
hearty good-will of Ned an* myself, an* all be- 
longin' to us, to the last day you dhraw breath," 
said the man, as he was about to follow Mr. 
Pratt out of the barn: " an' here, Miss" — step- 
ping up to her, while ^he passed her chair,— ~ 
" here *s a bit of a petition, like, on another 
matther, that we put into your hands for his 
honour, knowhV you'll do your best with him, 
for us ; only you won't open it till Square Pratt 
comes back, an' then give it to himself to read, 
or maybe to his reverence, there ; an* so, a good 
night, an* God reward you." 

Ellen, promising her influence, took a sealed 
letter from the man, who then slowly left the 
barn, in Mr. Pratt's steps. 



144 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

This little incident partly relieved the unea- 
siness and embarrassment of Redmond's appear- 
ance at the pane of glass. The old clergyman 
spoke on common topics to the youug ladies, or 
kindly or jocosely to the bride. Miss D'Arnell 
and Ellen also addressed her, occasionally inter^ 
changing, between themselves, a ceremonious 
and honied word : for the latter, recovered from 
the surprise of seeing her lover at the window, 
enjoyed good spirits in the hopes of soon hear- 
ing he was safe ; and the former, repenting her 
late haughtiness to her gentle rival, would show 
that she was, in the first place, perfectly at her 
ease, and, in the second place, graciously dis- 
posed to be affable. 

Kitty was agam called out to dance; Ris- 
tharde and her brothers, leaving Mr. Pratt and 
his clients quite alone in the house, that they 
might more effectually discuss their law point, 
also joined the revellers; and the mirth grew 
more energetic and . boisterous than before. 
More than half an hour might have elapsed, 
when Ellen began to think her father staid away 
very long ; but the recollection that he was en- 
gaged in doing a kind service to. his humble 
suitors, curbed any expression of uneasiness. 
Soon after, Mr. Fenelly remarked on that gen- 






PETEE OF THIS CASTLE. 145 

tleman's absence, and Ellen grew alarmed. At 
her instance, one of the bride's brothers went out 
to see what detained him with the strange man, 
and returned, looking pale and frightened, to 
announce that the house was quite empty ; nei- 
ther Mr. Pratt nor the new-coqaers appearing 
in it. 

All expressed themselves in words of surprise 
or apprehension. Ellen's sensitive heart mis- 
gave her. The two priests, accompanied by 
a crowd of men, went towards the house to as- 
certain the truth of the story, and once more 
the revels stopped; and, amid whispering and 
conjecturing, the throng awaited the result of 
the investigation. Mr. Eenelly, his coadjutor, 
and their friends, soon came back ; their fea- 
tures expressing the confirmation of the first 
account. 

" He has left the house with those men, to a 
certainty," said the old priest. 

" Murther, an' God help us !" cried Mr. Cot- 
teril, as he entered, in perturbation, yet not 
forgetful altogether of his usual reflective pace, 
and, as he styled them, ' his asy, quite civili- 
ments, 1 — " the Lord's blessin' be about all with- 
in an* without here ! God save ye, God save 
ye, neighbours, every one ! w softly clapping his 

VOL. III. H 



146 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

hands, as he pressed into the middle of the now 
Altered festive hall, if we may be allowed so to 
name Michael Tobirfs barn. Notwithstanding 
his blandness, there was a mixture of terror in 
his countenance that made him look like a 
frightened ox ; while five or six servants and 
helpers who accompanied him, showed the like 
symptoms of agitation. " Where's the poor 
masther, neighbours, dear?" Mr. Cotteril con- 
tinued;-—" oh, Miss Nelly, my pettheen, 
there's bad work done P' 

- The throng gathered round the other servants, 
who were immediately engaged in giving voci- 
ferous and clamorous accounts of the occurrence 
they had to detail ; often interrupting each other, 
as one thought his fellow related the tale the 
wrong way, or did not begin it at the right end. 
The land-steward continued to address himself 
to his young lady. 

"Oh, Miss Nelly, Miss Nelly, whereas the 
masther, till I tell him, afther a manner, the 
misfort 'nate story ?" 

" What is it ?" gasped Ellen. 
• " Long sorry is Bill Cottheril it 's come to his 
turn to say sich things to you, Miss Ellen, pet- 
theen ; bud the grand fine plate is gone, every 
morsel in the wide world — and the last rents, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 147 

likewise, that cum from the poor cratures o'te- 
hants, and from their hard arnins the live-long 
day, the poor so wis, God relieve 'em ! — " He 
made a pause here, that " the poor tenants" might 
have due opportunity to appreciate his kindness 
to them : but the winks and other signs which 
passed, unseen by him, among the poor te- 
nants, who were listeners, seemed to argue that, 
notwithstanding all his tact, Mr. Cotteril and his 
smooth tongue went for little more than they were 
worth, in general estimation — " an' nothin' left,*" 
continued Mr. Cotteril, " bud the sthrong box 
in the closet, that was too heavy to take iaway, 
an' that they couldn't force wid their honimers, 
an' their sledges, an' their crows, — an' wicked 
did they curse, God forgive them, when they 
war put to id to lave the same behind. 1 ' 

Ellen's thoughts glanced from what she now 
heard, to the disappearance of her father; both 
events became connected in her mind, and she 
swooned in Kitty Tobin's arms. 

" Who has done all this?" questioned Mr. 
Fenelly. 

" Somehow or some-way, plase your reve- 
rence," bowing low, " Cushneiche is the lad that 
done the work for us." 
" How long ago ?" 

h2 



148 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" I'm not over-bright in myself at any time, 
somehow' or someway, plase your reverence, an* 
what little share 6* sense God ga'.me, departed 
from me, a' most out-an'-out; but I'd make 
bould to say it's goin' on an hour, or there- 
away, sence they left us all tied up in a bundle, 
afther they had their good will o' the place : an* 
it 's only now, afther a manner, somehow, we 
got loose, wid God's help, an' set out here to 
look for the poor masther : musha, plase your 
reverence, where is he, entirely?" - 

Mr. Fenelly related the fact of Mr. Pratt's 
unaccountable disappearance. 

" Lord save us all, agin ! — was one iv 'em 
a weeny, middle-aged man, wid a green coat on 
his back, an' a black plasther on his eye ?? 
You describe him, exactly." 

Then, by the G !" sounding one palm 

against another — " Cushneiche has a hoult o 1 
the masther, into the bargain." 

While a murmur of astonishment and fear 
ran through the barn, Mr. Cotteril, suddenly 
recollecting in whose presence he stood, bowed 
low, crossed his forehead with such fervour as 
to leave the mark of his thumb nail behind, and 
added — 

" The Lord be good to us an' save us ! — see 



« 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 149 

what I said ; — to go an* give a curse, the first 
time o* my life ; for it's a way wid me to be asy 
an' quite, your reverence, an 1 I ax your reve- 
rence's thousand pardons." 

Mr. Fenelly, not heeding him, inquired for 
the note Ellen had taken from the stranger. 

Miss D'Arnell, who, along with Kitty, now 
attended to the insensible girl, stooped, and 
picked it up from the floor. The priest saw it 
had no direction on the back. He tore it open, 
and read aloud, that his coadjutor and Miss 
D'Arnell might hear him — 

" To Miss Ellen, — Do not be frightened — 
your father shall not be injured. 

" Cushneiche, 
" Redmond. 1 * 

The last signature was announced by Mr. Fe^ 
nelly, after much hesitation. 

" Redmond !" echoed Miss D'Arnell,— « that 
is false; — the note is a forgery — or his name, 
at least, is forged to it;"— she had started 
up, completely off her guard. The priest 
approached her. . 

" Patience, my child," he said* — " patience : 
and now, this is no place for you to stay ; we 



150 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

must get a number of the men present to join 
your own servant in seeing you safe at home ; — 
more of them will be required to protect your 
poor little friend here," pointing to Ellen,— ■* 
" and tne rest shall come with me and Cotteril 
to seels, out Mr. Pratt, and, if possible, get an 
explanation of all the circumstances of this ex- 
traordinary business." 

« Thanks, Sir-dear Sir-for your care and 
attention; — allons, ma mere* to the bewilder-, 
ed old attendant. " Oh, Sir, can you believe it 
of the unhappy young man ?" 

" I cannot — I do not ; yet I know not what 
to say. Are you sure, my dear, you saw him 
at the window ? " 

" Good heaven ! that brings terrible confir- 
mation;- — I am sure, Sir — Good night, good 
night — farewell, good young woman," to 
Kitty, "and I wish you all happiness, and am 
gorry for this trouble on your wedding-night." 

" It's no throuble in life, Miss," put in 
Bistharde, coming to his wife's side— u divil 
a throuble, Kitty, a-chorra," whispering her; 
" an' I '11 tell you why another time— an' you 
know where," smiling roguishly, 

Kitty stared at him. 

" Give my love and compliments to Mis* 



PETER OF THE CASTER. J§1 

Pratt," continued the young lady, "and say J 
hope and will pray her father may soon be re- 
stored to her :— r-Ah, she revives — farewell, dear 
Miss Pratt !" — her feelings had broken down the 
barriers of pride and rivalry, and taught her to 
sympathize with poor Ellen — " farewell ! ir kiss- 
ing her — " I would stay to see you quite re- 
covered, if I dared ; or if Mr. Fenelly would 
permit or advise it. God be with you." 

Miss D'Arnell hurried out of the barn, giv- 
ing her arm to the old lady, and attended by her 
servant, and the formidable posse the priest had 
already appointed to be her body-guard on th£ 
road home. . Seated in her saddle, she gave the 
rein to her fleet little steed, and set off from the* 
fanner's house in the precipitancy of unchecked 
and powerful emotion. Her servant called after 
her to announce, respectfully, that Madame was 
not yet secure on her pillion, and he, therefore, 
not in readiness to attend her. The fiery young 
lady heard or heeded him not, but continued 
her gallop down the bosheen to the main road ; 
and as nope of her rustic guards were mounted, 
having not contemplated a necessity for such 
great dispatch, she was therefore alone. 

At a short distance from the end of the lane, 
a man sprang over the fence, and flung himself 



152 PETER OF THE CASTLE, 

before her horse. He was haggard and agitated, 
and the moonlight showed his dress to be soiled 
and torn. Miss ITArnell knew him at a glance* 
and pulled up. 

" Redmond P she cried. 

" That wretch — that outcast P he answered, 
4t who only seizes this opportunity to see you, for 
the last time — hear the sound of your voice, for 
the last time." 

" All is true then ?" 

" The worst you can have heard of me is 
true," he answered. " I stand before you A 
branded man — the blood of a felon in my 
veins — a creature whom it is disgrace to have 
known — whom it would be destruction to kiiow 
any longer — an accursed being ! hurled, in one 
hour, from the height of worldly character, of 
youthful hopes — and oh, more than all — of 
the chance of an angel's love — down to the 
very lowest depths of infamy. Farewell ! fare- 
well I — forget me, for ever .'—call our intimacy 
a hideous dream, from which you have just 
awaked. You can never see me again — I shud- 
der at the thought — farewell P He was rush- 
ing from her — 

" Stay, a moment P she cried — " only one 
question— what is your present situation? — do 



V 

\ 



PETEH. OP THE CASTLE. 168 

you allow this dreadful discovery to sink you, 
by your own actions, lower than it could? — 
where have you been lurking? — how engaged ? — 
with whom ? unhappy Redmond, with whom ? 
Answer me — what brought you to the barn ? — 
did you know of the robber's intention to take 
off your guardian ?" 

" I did. And now, at least, you will not bid 
me stay ; nor can I, if you bid me. I hear the noise 
of the pursuit that outlaws tremble to hear, 
and I must fly from it— here come your friends, 
and — along with all the world— my persecutors ; 
—I say, Rosalie DIArnell, we part, this night, 
for ever." 

He darted over the fence at the side opposite 
that from which he had appeared, and was 
quickly lost to view ; diving down the inequali- 
ties that fell to the river. Her servant and the 
peasants came up, and escorted by them, she 
now rode home slowly and silently. 



H o 



154 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Cotteril's account of his observations of 
Redmond upon the night he left Mr. Pratt's 
house ; the allusions of the two old men on the 
village bridge, and, indeed, the young man's 
last appearance, and his own acknowledg- 
ments, seem to require a plain and speedy de- 
tail (for we dislike unnecessary mystery) of 
his real adventures and conduct since the first 
evening he and the reader parted company. 

Educated and brought up in liberal feelings, 
confirmed in them by liberal association, and a 
sense, however vague, of rank and place in the 
world, it will not be wondered at, that the brief 
explanation Redmond finally compelled his 
guardian to yield, upon the evening of their 
last interview, should have produced in the 
youth's bosom the kind of frenzy which has 
been noticed. The sudden shock acted, too, 



PETEB OF TJIK CASTLE* 155 

upon a nature, not of the gentlest, though, in 
many respects, of the noblest ^description, and 
was therefore felt more violently. 

Mr. Pratt has called Redmond " dark ;" and, 
with some allowances for exaggeration, it is 
admitted that the commentator was, in a de- 
gree, right in his view of character. Perhaps 
strong minds and hearts generally show less of 
amiable evenness, than weaker or softer ones: at 
$11 events, there was about this boy's temper a 
something that would not invariably bend to 
confidential freedom with all who thought they 
had a right, either on account of youthful 
equality, or of years and relative situation, t<* 
expect it from him. He was not impatient or 
hasty : few ever saw him in a passion ; he was 
not gloomy, even ; for he would race after the 
hurling-ball, and shout as he struck it high, 
and take or give a fall in wrestling during the 
game, as heartily and as laughingly as any of 
the neighbouring peasant-lads, with whom he 
condescended to mingle in the truly national 
sport. His jest, and smile, and wink, and per- 
haps something else, used to be ready, too, for 
every red-cheeked coUntry-girl that tripped by 
him on the road, or in the field, during a day's 
shooting or coursing; and in a summer meadow 



156 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

he was that kind of person who would tumble 
about in the new hay, playing with a child ; 
but also that kind of a person who did not 
lower himself by the vagary, and who would 
not allow any man to play with him, when his 
gambol with the child was oyer. 

While amusing conversation went on at table 
around him, Mr. Pratt and others have often 
vainly asked Redmond, why he was abstracted ? 
or why, when every one else laughed, he looked 
grave ? or, on the contrary, why, when all were 
wrapped in some serious topic, he alone smiled ? 
He would, on such occasions, merely answer, that 
he was unconscious of what they taxed him 
with— and he was ; for the long, vague look, or 
the faint j&mile, just moving the closed lips, 
were evidently but mechanical responses to the 
mind's gaze upon some difficult question; or to 
its glow over recollected or anticipated hap- 
piness; or, perhaps, to its indifference or con- 
tempt of something past by, or yet to come ; — 
none of which lapses it would, had it been 
conscious of the outside show, have naturally 
trusted to observation. 

It might be, that thoughts, irresistible at his 
age, upon his prospects, his pretensions — and 
thence upon the question of his parentage, only 



PETER OF THE castle. 157 

now called up with vigour, had lately given a 
more decided turn to this complexional reserve 
or depth of character. And again, the ever-re- 
curring image of the lady whom he had dared, 
within the last year, to love — and the incessant 
reference from her to his future hopes of pos- 
sessing her, continually kept him agitated, 
with, for the first time in hi3 life, reveries as 
selfish as they were absorbing. 

It has been said that he was seldom seen in a 
passion; yet some have witnessed him in one; 
and then, the vehemence of the fit certainly 
balanced the virtue of its rare occurrence. If 
really stirred up, Redmond's frenzy shook him 
to the centre, terrified all around him, and, 
working his body like a machine, flung him 
headlong, he knew not whither, upon the first 
course that presented itself. And if, in earlier 
boyhood, such had been the effect of his con- 
stitutional temper, on but slight occasions, we 
can more easily conceive the excess of passion 
that, on the present, sent him bursting out of his 
guardian's house, late at night, with cries and 
imprecations on his lips, joined to deeply-mut- 
tered tows, never again to cross its threshold. 

It is true that, as Cotteril has related, 
he first took the level road to the village : and, 



158 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

indeed, for once in his life, at least, that per- 
son has already given to Mr. Pratt a pretty true 
account of such of Redmond's conduct as came 
under his observation. The despairing boy ran, 
bounded forward, until a recollection that he 
was hastening to face the village crowds, whose 
regards and whispers he could not now en- 
counter, checked his speed, and, after a wild 
inquiring look around, urged him to cast him- 
self by the road-side, in a fit of complete aban- 
donment. Here the broken, but beautiful image 
of another person started across his mind; 
again he sprang up, cursing his birth, and the 
unknown parent who had left him to disgrace 
and misery, and ran against the rising ground 
at his left hand. 

This was the hill spoken of by CotteriL The 
carriage road to the village curved round it. A 
second road, narrow, rugged, and strewed with 
stones and rocks, led, as he and some other wise 
persons though t,in a shorter line to the same place, 
mounting boldly almost to the summit of the 
hill. But from the point at which Redmond be- 
gan to ascend, their was neither road nor path ; 
and he held his way, through clumps of furze 
and briars, iat right angles with the course in 
which Cotteril was racing to intercept him. He 



PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 159 

wanted no path that might conduct him to the 
dwellings of his fellow-creatures, or bring him in 
contact with them. He only cared to recollect 
that the top of the ascent, some distance across 
the climbing road, was lonesome, untenanted, 
and uninhabited ; and that there he could fling 
himself down, and indulge his present mood. 
Through every obstacle, he soon cleared the 
steep of the eminence, shot over the narrow 
road, bounded upon some rude fences of dry 
stones, pressed against the last piece of sloping 
ground, and found himself in the midst of a 
flat stretch of, as he had anticipated, waste 
land, which formed the summit. On every 
6ide, furze, rushes, brambles, and other bushes, 
were grouped, in clumps, with large stones, 
black under the shadow of night, or, here 
and there, with upright conical rocks, splint- 
ered at top, and cleft asunder — the protrusions 
or extremities, perhaps, of more enormous 
masses buried in the hill. Under his feet 
there was, in one place, soft, elastic sward, made 
by a depth of moss, and ages of decayed vege- 
tation, and, in another, patches - of slaty 
rockj bedded in the soil, and level with it. 
Redmond threw one glance around, to select, 
for his solitary and . misanthropic retreat, the 



160 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

meetest spot; and, as if satisfied with his scru- 
tiny, was springing on, when his toe touched 
something soft, amid a large tuft of furze and 
rushes, and he was sent staggering forward. 

Ere lie had recovered himself, a man, starting 
from the tuft, confronted him, and in an easy yet 
peculiar tone, said, " Bannochth-lath, gossip." 

" Fool ! v growled Redmond, as he turned to 
hasten from him ; " what sent you here, at this 
time of the night ?" 

" The thing that didn't send yourself, if a 
ixxly is to judge by the hurry you're in, an* th£ 
way you have with you," answered the man ; — 
u the sleep sent me here ; an 1 it was on me 
when your foot kicked me to waken me, I 
thank you." 

" You came to sleep here ? in such a place as 
this ? — You have no roof to cover you, then ? 
— you are poor — a wretch and an outcast ?" 

" No roof to cover me ? — that's a small mis- 
take ; I have, many 's the one." 

" Go home, then, and snore under it ; this is 
no haunt for you: good night, fellow," said 
Redmond. 

" A good night, then : but stop a bit, if you 
plase; just a neighbour's word with you," 
walking quickly after him. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 161 

u Well, man ?" — stopping and fiercely facing 
the stranger. 

" Here it is," replied the other, presenting a 
long-barrelled pistol—" here it is," jocosely re- 
peating the words as he cocked it, " an' all it'll 
be axin' o' you is whatever thrifle you have in 
your pockets — asy now !" — as, with an ex- 
clamation of " Rascal !*' and a sudden spring 
and blow, Redmond darted on him, knocked 
the weapon out of his hand, and brought him 
to the ground. Indeed, in a contest of bodily 
strength,, his low and light-built antagonist had 
little chance against Redmond's great height, 
nerve, and vigour, assisted as he was by the 
desperation that now maddened him. 

" You done it, faith," said the man, slowly 
rising; u an' now, don't be tellin' it to the coun- 
thry, wide, to get me into more disgrace than 
ever fell on me afore, on Ireland's ground, or 
in other places that ar'n't in Ireland, maybe :< — 
for the divil a mother's son, barrin' yourself — " 

" Here, fellow," interrupted Redmond , throw- 
ing him all the money he could find in his poc- 
ket, " never say it wasin defence of this trash I 
soiled my hands with you—and, after all, per- 
haps you want it : good night again." 

" Stop, ar-bouchol, stop,"— gathering up the 



168 PETER OF THE CASTLE: 

pieces,— " stop, an* this is the second time I 
bid you ; if I take one o' them from you now > 
may they walk down my throath afther the 
manner of a — : — - stop, I say t — stop, now, in 
arnest J" — he held close to his vision one of the 
pieces, and, in the weak light of the rising and 
clouded moon, seemed to examine it very anxi- 
ously — " Mother o* Heaven ! what's this ? where 
did you make off this ?" 

" What ? what, man ?" — Redmond return- 
ed quickly to his side, and also peered at 
the coin, — " Give it me!" he resumed, furious- 
ly, after a second's observation — " I didn't in-* 
tend to part with that : give it, or-r*- " 

" Arragh, bother, to be sure I will, as well 
as all the rest : but how cum it into your hands ? 
that 's all I want to know ; an' isn't it a civil 
question?" 

" No, man [—it's an impertinent question:—? 
why* should you ask ? don't you see the piece! 
is not one of the coin of these countries — per- 
haps not a coin of any country ? — go home ; fare- 
well ;"— he now had it again in his possession. 

* f No, faith ; nor a coin at all, maybe," re^ 
sumed the man ; " only a family keepsake, 
like, an' what we believe they calls a meddle: 
but there 's a kind of a notion cum into my 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 163 

head that I seen it afore now ;" — hd continued to 
walk after Redmond as he spoke : — " an', more- 
over, if you got it from the right hand, or in 
the right way, there 's another sort of a notion 
come across me, that I could tell you something 
of the friend that gave it to you." 

Redmond started and stopped. The medal 
had, indeed, been his from infancy; but he 
knew not to whom he was indebted for it, 
although, within the last year, he had often 
dwelt on the hope> of being able to trace the, 
donor. 

« What friend do you mean ? supposing you 
right or wrong in your notions, what was that 
friend to me ?" 

" Why, nothing more nor the misfortunite 
man they called your father." 

The bolt' of flame suddenly bursting before 
his eyes in the darkness of night, could not 
have more stunned Redmond, than did this 
answer, carelessly and lightly worded as it 
was. He turned, and gazed upon his follower 
m breathless consternation. In a moment, how- 
ever, the tide of his former frenzy rushed back 
with increased swell ; and, partly maddened by 
impatience for an explanation, partly by a sud-r 
den fear that the speaker, already aware of his 



164 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

shame, meant but to jeer and taunt him, he 
once more sprang upon his chance companion, 
collaring him and shaking him as he cried — 

" Ruffian ! if you cannot— do not fully ex- 
plain that word — instantly, too, and to my sa- 
tisfaction — by all — w 

" Fire and blazes ! let me go, boy ! w cried 
the man, suddenly and with great agility free- 
ing himself, while his manner showed a danger- 
ous irritation and fierceness that had a mixture 
of the snarling terrier and the tiger-cat in it, — 
" keep your hands from me, I say, or, afther 
all, it may be the worse for you ; I have ano- 
ther spakin'-thrumpet left, let alone a little 
thing that never misses fire ; — keep back, I bid 
you ! was there ever sich a born fool ? you 
don't know, man, into what a scrape one whis- 
tle on my little finger can bring you : be quiet, 
an' let us talk; I'm used to have my word 
obeyed ; an' you, of all livin' cratures, have a 
right to mind it ; stand where you are, gor^oon, 
and listen to me well," 

" I stand, fellow, not on account of your ab- 
surd threats, but to hear you speak — and you 
are yet within my reach — and yet I warn you, 
that if you do not fully explain your random 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 165 

word— and in explaining it, if & syllable es- 
capes you concerning the man you must prove 
to be the man you mentioned — a 'syllable of 
slight or reproach which you cannot also make 
good— or more — a syllable giving account of 
wrong done upon him, to the authors of which 
you do not instantly direct my vengeance ; if 
one of these conditions be forgot by you, pre- 
pare yourself. We are alone on this hill ; 
that's enough ; — you know what I mean." 

" Well," answered the other coolly, as, his 
head bent, he seemed to arrange his thoughts 
to some pressing purpose. 

" Go on !" resumed Redmond, while the 
man was still silent. 

" Yes— there it is," muttered the stranger, 
evidently coming to a point with himself; 
" that 's it. I will go on, poor gor^oon ; only 
you '11 be sorry, afore I 'm done, for callin' 
me them names, an' for the little thrial between 
us at the first goin' off, too. Arf you must 
have rason, now ; an' sense to undherstand that, 
afore I open my mind to you, it's only fair 
an 1 allowable I M be sure you Ve the man I M 
take you for." 

" Be it so : but speak quickly ." 



i 



166 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Very well. Now we only start from the 
post, over again. Where did you get this 
goold meddle ?" 

" I suppose I must answer you. -When I 
was an infant, sent to nurse to a poor cabin 
in this neighbourhood, it hung round my neck ; 
the woman who nursed me deprived me of it, 
while I was too young to be conscious of the 
theft. Many years after, her daughter, my fos- 
ter-sister, learned from conversations between 
her father and mother that it belonged to me ; 
and, as the poor girl loved me, and moreover 
pitied me on account of a question concerning 
my parentage, which she saw weighed down my 
heart, the medal returned, by her means, jnto 
my possession. Now for your story." 

" It 's soon tould. You 're no other than 
the young boy that was brought up in the at- 
torney's big house, beyant, it seems, then ?" 

" Fellow, you trifle with me. Every one in 
the neighbourhood knows that, only too well.'*' 

" Don't be callin' me them names, ar-vich, I 
bid you again. An* I, for one, never knew 
you, to see you, afore this night ; though that 
wasn't my fault : for many 's the long mile, by 
sey an' land, I thravelled to find you out ; an' 
at last, when I come to these parts, you were 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 167 

m Dublin, they Could ipe, and I thought you 
in it still. Sure, you can't be at home more 
nor a day or two." 

" No- longer. But what is all this to the 
question ? Why did you come to find me out, 
as you call it ? What business had you with 
me ?" 

" A thrifle. I made my way here to claim 
a good estate for you, ma-bouchal ; an', afther 
that, to put in a little claim for you, to your- 
self, on my own account, — och, Redmond, a- 
chorra, where 's the hand ?" He advanced, ex- 
tending his arm, as if, in accordance with his 
words, he sought to give and take a greeting. 
Redmond stepped back. 

" An estate for me ? and to put in a claim 
for me ? What is this folly ? Man, do you pre- 
sume— -do you dare to trifle with me ? Have a 
care ; you can't guess in how ill a humour I am 
to bear it. An estate ? what estate ?" 
" The house an 7 lands Pratt houlds." 
" Take care, I again warn you : you mean 
to insinuate then that I am that man's son — his 
base bastard, perhaps ?" 

. " God forbid, avich : an* yet, bad as he is, 
I 'm afeard the world won't allow your father 
to be much a betther man." 



168 v PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

" Scoundrel ! there 7 s the woi d I cautioned 
you against ; and now make it good, or — • — go 
on ! how has my father become a mark for the 
world's censure ? Heaven of heavens ! Pratt's 
story is true then. Man! who was that fa- 
ther ?" 

" He that hung the little meddle round your 
neck, Redmond, a vich, when he put you into 
Pratt's care, an' your good estate too— an' that 
can tell you every letther an' mark on the med- 
dle, though he might only have it in his hands 
in the dark o' the night, when the best eye- 
sighth *ud fail in makin' em out; an' no other, 
Redmond, ma-bouchal, # are you to take the 
story from." 

"Furies ! what mean you ?" — a terrible mis- 
giving setting him wild ; — " name the name of 
the person you call my father. Is he alive? 
where is he ? how situated ?" 

" Alive, an' not far from you, Redmond, a- 
graw, an' — but this is the sorest part to you — 
the neighbours call him one Cushneiehe " 

Without attempting to describe the feelings 
in Redmond's bosom, we shall only mention 
that, at an announcement so terrible, he was 
deprived of all power of utterance, silently and 



x 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 169 

quickly falling back still farther from die 
speaker. 

" An 1 there's no hand for me yet? n resumed 
his companion, after a pause, in a softened and 
reproachful tone : " Redmond, a-vourneen, 
flesh an' blood sees nothin' to hate in its own 
iftisfort'nes or misdoings ; it forgives an* forgets 
all to its own kin." 

"You are the person you have named thea?* 
inquired Redmond, his voice sounding low- and 
hollow, as he hugged his arms hard across his 
breast.; 

■v. 

" I'm myself at laste, a-chorra, an' nothin' 
more or less to you than your own poor fa- 
ther." 

" Stop !— you must prove your right to that 
word before you use it;—- you must show me, 
clearly and* circumstantially, how it could have 
happened ;— you must not leave a hairVbreadth 
of doubt unremoved. I hear but your as- 
sertion, wretched man, and scorn it Though 
it leaves me here shaking with a dread never 
known before, I scorn it ! But let me have 
the proof, I say ! show me, as clear as the day 
that will surely come, how it is I am — fiod 
of heaven! what I cannot utter J — how it is 

VOL. III. i 



170 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

I — / mercy, mercy, Great Lord of the 

world I mercy only in that ! n the miserable boy 
fell on his feeble knees : " or, before it comes — 
death ! death ! Before it is known — before she 
hears it — Common Parent, show me mercy ! — 
No r he started up distracted — " I do not be- 
lieve it — it cannot, shall not be true ! — hell and 
flames! — Rosalie! — it shall not! — or come! — 
rather than that it "should — rather than that — 
that /''-^groping for the pistol he had knocked 
out of Cushneiche's hand, he tottered head- 
long, and fell exhausted. 

The old robber stooped over him, and by a 
succession of soothing words tried, in his own 
way, to administer relief and consolation, at the 
same time raising Redmond's head. As soon 
as the youth grew conscious that his hands were 
round him, he again sprang to his feet. 

f I say, man, it is as false as the hell you 
shall suffer for it I Ah !" screaming, as a sud- . 
den thought came — " I see it now ! you bring 
me a confirmation of Pratt's story, because you 
have been set on by him." 

'* Set on by liimf* repeated Cushneiche an- 
grily; " set on by the fellow I'm come here 
only to bring to his long account P By him , 
that has wronged us both ? — that tninks to keep 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 171 

jour own from you, Redmond, a-vich, and 
that is the cause — or J wrong him much— why 
the father an* son were even forced to part, an* 
one sent on the road to evil doins, an' the other 
made his household dog ? Avoch, poor* boy, 
hear rason. I never knew you, I say, or what 
you war like, in the face or the limbs, till you 
crossed me on this hill to-night ; or why I had 
the right to call you my own, till your own hand 
threw that token on the ground.* 

" How am I sure of that ? how can I tell 
but " 

" Wait, a-cuishla : do you remember my first 
salute to you ? do you remember the pistol at 
your head ? if I was set on you, or knew my 
own child, is that the way I'd come up to 
him?" 

Redmond groaned in confirmed though less 
furious agony, and again his clasped hands and 
upturned eyes appealed to heaven. 

" An* it 's the heavy sorrow is on my heart, 
Redmond, resumed Cushneiche, " to be sich a 
father to sich a son ; one that desarves the first 
and best man of this wide world to call him his 
child ; "but wait, a-vich, I tell you again. My- 
self is nothin' to myself, now ; you, Redmond, 
it 's you is to be considhered ; an' for the same 

i2 



i 



1T8 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

rason, let the. world never know we are kith or 
kin. -Let me stay here only till sich time as the 
ould Attorney 11 be made to give you your own, 
an" then no matther what, corner provides me 
rest an' pace at last." : 

"Unhappy old man — wretched father! to 
whom, if this indeed be true, your child can 
never be a child — do not talk to me of estate, or 
wealth, or rpnk ; talk to me only of all that can 
prove your horrible claim to my connexion with 
you— to my blood,, the blood that runs In my 
veins ; and if on that point you speak clearly 
> n o matter; I listen to you." 

" Well, my poor gor§oon ; first an* foremost, 
I $an tell you the marks an* tokens on the little 
bit o' gopld ; then, I can tell the day an' place 
I gave you up to Pratt; afther that, I can tell 
you how much land I paid him hard motiey 
for, on your account; an' to make my endin' 
good— " 

" These are still but your <6wn assertions. 
&ave you no witness to them ?" 

" Afey, a vich ; to make my endin' good, I«an 
bring him to your face, with the Lord's h^lp, 
an 1 if I 'in a live man ; when, if he doesn't *ij>- 
hould my story, through his own mouth, £n' 
by rason of the little way we'll oygufy it with 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 178 

him, why then, Redmond, a-roon, the red 
duoul take the liars, that Y all ; an 1 I have no 
witnesses to show you." 

" Impostor — though I know not why you* 
should join in such a plot — yet, wretched im- 
postor as you are, can you expect me to con- 
sign myself to perdition by believing you oh a 
case so flimsy ? or expect me to check the re- 
turning joy I now feel at detecting you out of 
your own showing ?" 

" How, Redmond, ma-bouchal ?" 

" How ? If— I will not say if — but since you 
have been hired by Pratt to destroy me — though 
I repeat I know not ,why — with this fable, what 
else should he do but confirm his own state- 
ment r 

" Asy again, man. Supposing at the same 
time, we make him deliver up to you, saled 
atf signed, the parchments that gives you a 
right atf title to eveify sod he houlds, an* laves 
himself without a shilhin', a beggar on the face 
d* the earth, — would that be like the thing? 
would that show him ah* me to be cullodgm 
together ? would that make it rasonable for him 
to tell a false story, that, when once tould " 

«• By the Eternal P interrupted Redmond, 
stamping furiously, " you shall do it, then, or 



174 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

you and I have but a measured time of this 
H/e ! and when you have done it— for one of 
us, at least," sinking in his furious tone, " the 
time shall still be measured." 

" 1 11 do it, Redmond ; an' no need, a-hager, 
of threatemn' me or yourself oh the head of it, 
either. Mind what I say. I know your father 
is a shame to you, but he '11 dhraw far off as 
soon as you 're righted, an' no one the wiser 
who or what he is; an' Pratt can asily be 
bribed to hould his tongue ; an' then you '11 
have your good lands an' house to yourself, 
an' * 

" No more of this, I repeat — not another 
word of such dreadful mockery. The only 
thing you and I can now allude to, is the proof 
of your story ; the only thing I want to know 
is, that you, a highway robber and outlaw, have 
indeed the right to call me by the name you 
presume to apply to me. Your former history, 
your family, your early pursuits, or the cir- 
cumstances that made you what you are — even 
these points I fly from at present, as, until the 
titiT,e and place of your explanation, I fly from 
you ; and when you tell me of that time and 
place, our meeting ends. So, where am I to 
witness Pratt's admissions ? how, circumstanced 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 175 

as you are, warring with the laws of. your 
country, do you propose to obtain an interview 
with him ?" 

" Don't fear me much on the head o' that. It '11 
jest all happen out of his own house (that isn't his 
own), an' in one o' mine. He 's mighty shy o' 
me, I know, though not on this account, an' we 
must watch an' wait a little, to find him free of 
his faction ; but it's a thing to be done, plase 
God, for all his cuteness." 

cc You mean to force him into one of your 
haunts?" 

" Why, then, I believe you said it, Red- 
mond, a-vich. n 

" If so, remember I am no party to your out- 
rage." 

" Never fear ; an* God forbid I axed you, 
Redmond; only meet us, the present night 
week — " 

*' A week ? do you think to put me off so 
long? Do you think I can be paltered with so 
long ?" 

u Asy, good boy ; the bird isn't to be caught 
sooner. He must be clear of his faction, I tell 
you ; an' it '11 happen in this way. To-day- 
morning, as we hear, a gossip o' mine went to 
give him the invite to his weddin', for the evenin' 



176 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

I tould you .of; he '11 come to the house in the 
day-light, with few of his people about him ; 
my gossip, out o' love to you, becase out o' love 
to your fosther-sisther— " , . 

" What ? are you speaking of Ristharde 
Roach?" 

" Whisht, a-boucha] ; it's not manners to call 
peopled names, at the prasent time o' the night; 
—an' there 's some things to be let into one ear, 
an' out through the other : never mind axin' too 
many questions; only, my poor gossip, I say, 
111 give no hendrance, if he gives no help, when 
Pratt is onct in the baruti ; an', as I said afore, 
you '11 have only to meet us, about nine o'clock, 
outside o' the place, an', when we get him into 
our company, folly us, accordin' to your likin', 
over the road we '11 be for axin' him to come." 

" Supposing me to comply with your lawless 
arrangements, to which, I once more warn you, 
I am and shall be no party— do you expect to 
find in his pocket the documentary proof you 
spoke of ? The title-deeds, as I understand 
you ? and the only proof which I will take to 
be undeniable ?" 

" No ; he wouldn't hawk 'em about with. bi*»> 
I'm thinkin' ; but a body may go look for them, 
afore givin' himself a call. Don't fear us, my 
poor boy ; you '11 get the satisfaction you want." 






PETER OF THE CASTLE. 177 

" Farewell, then— v He was turning off after 
a pause. 

" Avoch, Redmond, is this the way you lave 
me ?" Cushneiche again held out his hand. 

" No, wretched creature !" said Redmond — - 
" even supposing your tale true and proved, no, 
no I say f — Even supposing Nature to have ori- 
ginally given you over me the near claim you 
say you possess, still, from my earliest infancy, 
you abandoned that claim— -you left me to my 

own fortune and chance— for twenty years w 

" " Listen to the rason for that." 

" Not a word !— Ais useless, and will but pro* 
long an intercourse I shrink from.— Say you 
never had deserted your child, your present 
course of life cuts asunder, for ever, any acci- 
dental relationship. The Commandment cannot 
mean to bind a son of honour and honesty to 

love or honour a ; -Oh Merciful Heaven ! — 

Unnatural, as well as degraded man ! — it would 
have been a mercy if you kept me by your side, 
even to familiarize me to your own life — even to 
corrupt* and harden my heart — to teach me to 
sink myself for ever, that so I might be blind 
to your character, and that the robber-son might" 
acknowledge the robber-father, as the tiger- 
whelp in the forest his tiger-sire. — Yes, com- 

i 5 



178 PETER OF THE CASTLE* 

pared to the ruin you now bring upon me — the 
horrid struggle you have aroused in my breast — 
the despair and scalding anguish" — his voice be- 
came shrill, as burning tears found their way— 
" compared to this and more, any thing would 
have been mercy. — Touch your felon hand ? 
take it in mine ? No !— Keep your appointment : 
I will be punctual, if I can bear life so long." 

He plunged down the side of the hill opposite 
to that which he had ascended; at the bottom, 
. again met the level road to the village, which, 
as has been noticed, swept all round the emi- 
nence ; bounded over it, with an eager and fear- 
ful look to the right and to the left, to note if 
he was observed ; then down sloping grounds, 
to the river side ; along by the water's brink to 
the village bridge; and, stealthily passing it, 
continued his course at the other side of the 
river, towards the group of ruins in one of 
which Padhre-na-Moulh usually lived. 



PETE'tt OF THE CASTLE. 179 



CHAPTER VII. 

It was Redmond's intention, if, indeed, any 
impulse of his present mood can be called an 
intention, to seek an interview with Padhre-na- 
Moulh. From many former little incidents, he 
had been led to entertain a vague notion that 
the hermit knew, or, allowing for his attributed 
wanderings of brain, fancied he knew something 
about him, in reference to his birth. The 
youth, during early childhood, became familia- 
rized to the person of Peter, who constantly 
walked into the cabin where he was at nurse, 
silently begging a little food ; afterwards, they 
often met by the river's side, or on some other 
of the poor mendicant's lonesome walks ; *and it 
was observed that Peter never appeared near 
him without showing, by gestures or action, an 
unusual interest. Sometimes he would, in pass- 
ing, lay his hand on the child's head ; sometimes 
stop suddenly before him, and kneel as if in 



( 



180 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

prayer for his welfare : and Redmond had a 
lively recollection of once crossing, at about six 
years of age, the wanderer's path, in a solitary 
place, when no third person was near, and when 
Peter, after first kneeling by his side and holding 
, his hand, took him gently into his arms, and 
while tears ran down his cheeks, and low sobs 
and moanings escaped him, pressed the boy ten- 
derly to his heart* 

Redmond was sent to school, and afterwards 
to college; of course, their meetings became 
less frequent ; indeed years often lapsed without 
one ; and the youth remembered only as inco- 
herent passages of his childhood, the notice and 
attention of his strange acquaintance and pa- 
tron. Before his last return to the University, 
something occurred, however, to cast back his 
mind over those half-forgotten days and cir- 
cumstances. Ellen and he were out rambling 
among the hills, and had sat down to rest, in 
the middle of a waste moor, when Peter sud- 
denly approached them, alone. Their hands 
had been innocently clasped, before his ap- 
pearance, and now were quickly withdrawn 
from each other. But, walking up to them, 
with, as usual, his eyes fixed on the ground, 
the mendicant, when they had bid him good- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 181 

morrow, and when he had lowly bowed his 
head in acknowledgment, gently took a hand 
in each of his, again joined them, knelt, as 
if to invoke happiness on the union he would 
thus seem to propose, and left the boy and girl, 
as suddenly as he had come up, to recover, as 
well as they could, from the blushing confusion 
his singular conduct had caused. 

About a year after, Redmond was still more 
interested by a rencounter with Peter. At 
this time he had seen Miss D'Arnell, and could 
think of nothing but her. It was a fine day, 
and he reclined, alone, on the bank of the river, 
idly, but, since the time of Shakspeare's Or- 
lando, at least, allowedly indulging the old 
lover-trick of forming the initial of his lady's 
name in the smooth sand that filled a little 
river-creek near him, now left dry in the sum- 
mer weather. So, R, R, R, for Rosalie was flou- 
rished, with his finger, all over the shining 
tablet ; when, looking up, he half-blushed to 
find himself detected in his pastime by old 
Padhre-na-Moulh, who stood, immediately over 
him, gazing down at his work. 

" Well, good Peter, and how do you like 
it?" asked Redmond, not in a pleased tone. 
The mendicant shook his head, in evident 



182 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

token of not liking it at all ; and then stoop- 
ed, smoothened the sand with the palm of his 
hand, and, using the point of his staff, de- 
scribed, much to Redmond's surprise, a well- 
shaped E, in lieu of every R he had defaced. 
After a pause, Redmond said, smiling, " No, 
no, Father Peter ; it must be this letter ; n and 
in his turn, he smoothened the primitive page, 
and restored the original characters. But Peter 
shook his head more earnestly than before — 
Redmond thought he even frowned — and, again 
stooping, wrote E, E, E, inscribing the letters 
deeply into the sand, and, when he had done, 
pointing towards Mr. Pratfs house, and signify- 
ing, by proper gestures, that Redmond should 
seek in it a subject for his alphabetic muse. 

" Indeed, Padhre ? and why so ?" — 

A third time the mendicant prepared the 
sand for a new text, and wrote—" It is com- 
manded." 

" Ay, Padhre P' resumed the youth; " and 
by whom commanded, pray ?" 

His strange companion remained as if he had 
not heard the question. 

" Who has the right to command me in 
such a matter, Peter ? Do you know I am an 
orphan, without natural guardians, and such a& 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 183 

might claim the right ?" Still no motion gave 
an answer to his questions. " I say, Peter, no 
human creature lives qualified to control me, 
hi any thing I choose to do or to fancy." 

At last Peter seemed to hear. Once again 
he made the sand level, and inscribed upon it — 
"Yes — there live those whose bidding you 
should heed ;" and while Redmond, with ex- 
treme wonder, pored over the sentence, Peter 
suddenly walked away, nor could entreaties 
draw him back. 

For some time the incident left a strong im- 
pression on Redmond's mind, and he afterwards 
threw himself more than once in Peter's way, in 
order to obtain, if possible, an explanation of 
the last words written on the sand. But the 
mendicant would not attend to. his questions, 
and, if closely pressed, only pointed solemnly, 
and with a show of earnest exhortation, to 
Pratt's house, and renewed his signs that there, 
and there only, Redmond was to bestow his 
affections. This obstinacy at first irritated 
him; and then, as time wore away, (much of 
it in the company of Rosalie,) and as* he be- 
gan to recollect the rumour, credited by the 
more reflecting people in the neighbourhood, 
of Peter's insanity, he tried to dismiss all 



184 PETER OF THE CASTLB. 

idea of the occurrence as one which ought 
rationally to interest him. The poor man's 
early notice of him could have been no- 
thing, Redmond argued, but an arbitrary im- 
pulse of his weak mind ; and, working up his 
own prepossession, Peter had now merely 
invested himself with a right to dictate to his 
protege upon some whim, of which the solution 
could only be found in the incongruities com- 
mon to madness. 

Yet, after the receipt of the note from Count 
O'Ruark, the finding of the scrap of Mrs. Pratt's 
letter, and, particularly, after the sudden de- 
claration of his guardian, which had sent him 
raving out of the house, Redmond's thoughts 
went back, in spite of him, to his interview with 
Peter by the river side ; as he clambered up the 
hill, upon this night, an impulse again to chal- 
lenge the solitary, in his ruined abode, often 
occurred, and now, giving way to what, in a 
calmer moment, he would have thought a 
weakness, the youth rapidly, though stealthily, 
pursued his broken path to the old castles. 

He soon gained them. They lay within a 
short distance of the water, occupying about an 
acre of ground, which was left untitled and neg-i 
lected, and as if delivered up, in reverence or 



PETEK OF THE CASTLE. 186 

fear, to be a domain unto the relics of former 
times. Heaps of their own stones and rubbish, 
that, during century after century, had become 
piled around them, were, in many places, now 
clothed with soil and long grass and weeds, so 
as to give the appearance of natural little hil- 
locks,which grouped, irregularly but pleasingly, 
with the ruins that still endured. Indeed, as 
has before been said, the ground all about 
them had gradually risen so high, that a good 
portion of their bases were buried in it. 

As Redmond hastily stepped into the little 
solitary region, the objects which first confront- 
ed him were two detached portions of arched 
aisles, blackly relieved against the less deep sky, 
and allowing passage, through their arches, to 
floods of watery moonshine, that came bursting, 
now and then, from wreaths of low, racking 
clouds. These ran at right angles with each 
other, and yet might once have been but parts 
of one connected pile ; oyer them, at some dis- 
tance, arose the pinnacled and shivered heads 
of two or three square towers, or castles,— also 
standing out blacker than the heavens, and ad- 
mitting weak gleams through their pointed win- 
dows and cracks. To his right and left arose 
others, of a similar shape, half light, half sha- 



186 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

dow, whenever the fitful moonbeams fell on 
them ; and at his back, as he entered the place 
of ruins, was the peculiarly-shaped, square cas- 
tle, most fully catching the intermittent ray, be- 
cause directly facing its source, in which, as he 
had often been told, the solitary resided. No 
pathway was distinguishable through the en- 
cumbered and tangled ground ; and it was over- 
spread by a deep and melancholy silence, that, 
at every step he took, seemed to become dis- 
mally broken up by the murmuring or whisper- 
ing echoes. 

Stumbling over the inequalities we have 
described, and among loose stones and prickly 
weeds, or slippery grass, Redmond found his 
way to the base of Padhre's castle. He looked 
up, hoping to catch a red gleam from its 
windows and slits, that might announce an in- 
habitant within :— no light appeared through 
any of the blank orifices. He walked round the 
building, in search of a door or entrance :— none 
met his eye, upon a level with his feet ; and a 
little more observation showed him that the 
rugged and abrupt ascent up which he was ob- 
liged to clamber to the castle, was, as before 
generally noticed with respect to all the others, 
a heap of its own fragments, that, in course of 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 187 

time, had mounted higher than the original door- 
way, completely blocking it up from use or view. 
But at one side of the square ruin he saw a 
large window-hole, also square, to be gained by 
a little climbing, and which, from stepping- 
marks under it, and the polish on its lower edge, 
seemed constantly in use as the entrance to the 
building. 

With slight exertion, Redmond got in at this 
window, and found himself upon a narrow, cork- 
screw kind of stairs, continuing above him, as 
the partial and flitting moonbeams allowed him 
to observe, and also twining downward from 
where he stood, into, as he rightly supposed, 
the ground-floor of the castle. It struck him 
that Padhre was most likely to choose for his re- 
treat this lower and obscured region, which, 
from the pilings of stones and rubbish abroad, 
might now be regarded as a kind of subter- 
raneous cell ; and acting upon this idea, he 
descended the steps. 

As he looked down to measure his way, he 
could not see where, or in what manner they 
ended ; for, at the distance of a few yards, 
impenetrable darkness baffled his eye, the stairs 
seeming to rest upon a void, or to become 
gradually shadowed into it. Cautiously, there- 



i 



188 PETER OF THE CAST IK. 

lore, Redmond descended, placing his feet 
firmly, and clinging to rude projections in the 
rough wall, at one side. After making some 
progress, he stumbled over a confused and 
broken mass, and fell. His first apprehension 
was that a breach hod occurred in the steps, 
and that he should be precipitated headlong to 
the bottom : but he soon assured himself that 
he only lay prostrate among a heap of stones, 
which tumbling, from time to time, through 
the interior of the ruin, had, at this place, 
rolled down the stairs, choked them up, and 
forbid further progress towards the regions 
underneath. 

Convinced that it was now useless to seek 
Peter any where but in the upper part of the* 
castle, Redmond scrambled to his feet, and as- 
cended the narrow staircase. It led him into 
an apartment, the full extent of the space en- 
closed by the building, of which the floor was 
earthen, the walls were bare and rough as the 
outside of the castle, and which was rude- 
ly arched over-head, sustaining another floor. 
Through large openings, at one side, the 
moon sent sufficient light to enable Redmond, 
after he had looked close for some time, to 
observe the features of the place. No human 



PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 189 

figure appeared. In opposite corners were two 
beds of straw and rushes, covered with coarse 
blankets, and feneed round with hewn stones, 
visibly culled from the heap of ruins below. 
He recollected the two old men who constantly 
attended on Padhre, and 'conjectured that this 
apartment, and these humble couches, were 
occupied by them, rather than by him. He 
walked round by the walls, expecting to dis- 
cover a recess, but was disappointed. Issuing 
from the chamber, he gained the scanty land- 
ing-place, before the threshold of its low, square 
door-way, and observing that the twisting stair- 
case continued upward towards the top of the 
castle, mounted it. 

He arrived at a second landing-place, and a 
second low, square door, that gave him entrance 
upon the floor above the apartment he had just 
quitted. Here were no beds, and, except the 
swollen and toiling clouds, no ceiling or cover- 
ing. The earthen surface on which he stood, 
was encumbered with the fragments of the flat 
roof, that long ago had tumbled in ; for the 
luxuriant crop of weeds which flourished among 
the ruins, told that they were not of recent 
date. 
In old castles of a similar kind, he had previ- 



190 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

ously observed the construction of the roof, or 
covering, to have been a little elevated towards 
the centre, with, from that point, grooves di- 
verging and running into a stone channel, which, 
attached to the walls of the building, received 
the waters that fell on the roof, and discharg- 
ed them outwardly, through vents in each 
angle, upon the earth below ; of such a roof 
the whole had, in the present ca§e, given way, 
except that around two sides of the castle, 
the remains of the narrow water-course still 
projected — to Redmond's eye, as he gazed up- 
ward, very insecurely and scantily. But having 
ascertained that the uncovered chamber could 
not possibly shelter the hermit of the ruined 
abode, he issued out again, and ascended still 
higher. 

With some caution, he stood upon the edge 
of the frail water-course, and looking across 
the space between him and the opposite wall, 
thought he perceived what he had been seeking, 
a recess, such as might afford concealment to 
the object of his search. He was now on the 
summit. At either angle were the fragments 
of pinnacles, and, connected with them, indent- 
ed breast- work, which rose above the former 
level of the roof: but at the side he was to 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 191 

cross along the water-course, this rude battle- 
ment had almost wholly crumbled away, so as to 
afford little assistance, — in case of a false step,— 
against the chance of falling, inwardly, among 
the ruins below, or, outwardly, a fearful height, 
to the base of the castle. The grooved path 
had all the appearance, too, of being but slight- 
ly supported by its insertion into the wall, and 
might give way beneath the foot. Redmond 
had soon traversed it, however, and gained the 
point he wished to examine. 

A bundle of hay, tied into a close, hard mass, 
filled up a little arched door-way, and must 
have been pulled with some effort into it, for 
Redmond found himself obliged to push vio- 
lently before it yielded, and allowed him egress 
into a cell, formed half in the thickness of th* 
wall, half in a semicircular projection, on the out- 
side, and scarcely more than six feet long, and 
four in breadth. A loop-hole gave passage to a 
ray of moonlight; and the reflected light from 
the interior of the opposite wall of the castle, 
farther enabled him, now that the entrance was 
open, to discern objects. Padhre did not yet 
appear. His bed, of similar material and con* 
struction with those below, entirely occupied 
one end of the nook ; at the other end was a 



192 PKTF.R OF THE CASTLE. 

deal box, clumsily put together, upon which, 
from the polished appearance of the lid, it 
would seem he was in the habit of sitting. It 
waa not shut close, and, urged by an impulse 
of curiosity, Redmond opened it. A strange 
mass of things struck his view : some potatoes, 
raw and boiled ; some mouldy crusts of bread ; 
a bottle of water ; several pairs of musty old 
shoes ; a large missal, much worn ; a wooden 
crucifix, rudely carved, perhaps by Peter's own 
hand ; and a few curious articles, also probably 
the work of his hours of melancholy madness, 
when the hand weakly followed the imbecile 
wanderings of the brain. One of these little 
matters seemed an imitation of a pair of tongs, 
made by bending a sapling ash until its points 
nearly met, then hardening it over a fire, and 
then paring and nicking it into some shape With 
a knife ; another gave the notion of the hull 
and masts of a ship ; another of a pistol ; all 
in wood. A wooden cup also appeared, toge- 
ther with the clumsy pocket knife which had 
been, perhaps, the artist's only tool. 

A small niche in the wall next drew Red- 
mond's eye. Like the door-way it was stuffed 
with a little bundle of hay. He pulled this out ; 
the place seemed empty. , Groping through it, 



PETER OF THE CATTLE. 193 

to assure himself whether or no it secreted 
any other curious article, he thought the stone, 
which formed its bottom, slightly moved. He 
shook the stone ; found it loose ; lifted it up be- 
tween his hands, and discovered another box, 
standing on end and fitting close, a good 
way down, in an excavation made under it. 
With some difficulty Redmond next extracted 
the box, which was long and rather .weighty, 
and brought it close under the ray that entered 
through the loop-hole. He reckoned to find it 
open, like the first ; but, although no lock 
appeared, it was tightly and firmly closed. It 
must be fastened by a spring, he thought : nor 
was he mistaken ; for, in pressing round it with 
his thumb, the lid started half open, and allow- 
ed him a view of the contents- 1 — and these con- 
tents not a little astonished him. 

He first laid his hand on a closely-wedged 
row of little bags, filled, as he ascertained, with 
Spanish crowns, and gold pieces of various 
countries : —next, he drew out two cases of pis- 
tols, of different sizes, and richly mounted and 
inlaid, though tarnished by time ; and next, a 
broad-leafed hat turned up in front, a cloak, a 
jacket or jerkin, small-clothes, hose, and half- 
boots with spurs. In disturbing the folds of 

VOL. III. K 



.194 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

the cloak, a dirk and a locket fell on the ground. 
Redmond caught up the latter, and rose to exa- 
. mine it under the full influence of the solitary 
moonbeam. At one side, it showed a tress of 
hair ; at the other, initials which he could not 
decypher. Great curiosity possessed him at the 
discovery of this hidden treasure, and the mat- 
ters that accompanied it, particularly the last. 
Bringing to mind the abject appearance Padhre 
always made, it was extraordinary to find such 
things in his possession. Were they his own ? 
had they once belonged to him in a situation 
and character, which, for unknown reasons, he 
now voluntarily abandoned ? or were they plun- 
der — the evidences of a dark crime, for which, 
according to the village rumour, he had during 
twenty years offered, in his wretched and unso- 
cial life, an expiation ? The locket must have 
been, as almost all such things are, a little token 
of female affection. On whom first bestowed ?. on 
the present possessor, or some one from whom 
he had snatched it ? And who was the giver ? 
Redmond, in vague expectation, again peered 
closely at the initials, in the moon's ray, but 
with as little success as before. 

A strong temptation arose in his mind to ap- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 195 

propriate the locket for a time, examine it in 
the daylight, and when the letters were ascer- 
tained, try to draw from them, by reflection 
and inquiries, of what name and person they 
might be the remembrancer. Absorbed as he 
was in questions of self, exclusively, it was not 
surprising that, although unwarranted by any 
rational data, he should feel disposed to con- 
nect with his own mystery the present one. Pa- 
dhre's early, attentions to him also occurred to 
his heated mind in a shape more important 
than they had even before taken ; and. rapidly, 
though in a very obscure way, he linked toge- 
ther the hermit's fate and his own, and conjec- 
tured that the locket was the clue to explain 
both. In this view, he became resolved to keep 
it for a few days ; at his leisure he might re- 
turn to the castle, while Padhre was again out, 
and replace it ; and Bedmond was hanging it 
round his neck, inside his vest, by a chain to 
which it appended, when the sound of heavy 
steps at a distance, calling out the echoes of 
the solitary little waste abroad, caused him, in 
some confusion, hastily to cram all the other 
articles into the box, shut down its spring lid, 
deposit it in its hiding-place, arrange the stone 
over it, stuff the little bundle of hay into the 

k 2 



196 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

blind niche, and then hasten from the recess, 
and walking round a continuation of the water- 
course, place himself at a ruined part of the 
battlement, upon that side of the castle which 
commanded a view of the approach from the 
river-side. 

At a look he recognized Padhre, coming 
home, Redmond concluded, from one of hit 
moody rambles. As the single figure moved 
through the intricacies of the obstructed ground, 
or appeared and disappeared over the little hil- 
locks before described, sometimes half touched 
with moonshine, sometimes black in shadow, it 
gave, in costume and general character, not an 
unapt notion of the gepius of the ruined place. 
Or, if stripped of superhuman fancies, and 
contemplated merely as a figure, the effect was 
scarce less striking ; — exactly such a being, so 
wretched, so sad, so estranged from his fellows, 
and suggesting so many thoughts of a former 
and different existence, ought to be the human 
accompaniment to the scene. 

While Redmond contemplated him, Padhre 
came very near to the castle, and his two old fol- 
lowers appeared limping after him in the dis- 
tance.- They must haye seen Redmond on the 
shattered wall, the moment their eyes couW 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 197 

catch it ; for he had but just recognized them, 
when he was startled with their sudden scream, 
out of which the shrill tones of old Daddy Clay- 
ton arose, pronouncing, in a key that made the 
echoes ring — " Who's that ! who's that ! who's 

that in our house, lookin' from our wall?" 

and the words were no sooner spoken, than Pa- 
dhre, glancing up, and also seeing Redmond, 
added a loud, complaining, and frightened cry, 
and quickened his pace round the building, to- 
wards the entrance, while the hermit birds, that, 
with him, tenanted the ruins, took wing from 
their ivy-nests, and, fluttering about, discord- 
antly repeated his challenge. 

Redmond soon heard Padhre ascending the 
stairs ; his lengthened " Oh-h, oh-h, v still kept 
up, accompanied by the scolding of the bid man 
and the hooting of the owls without. He faced 
round, to be ready to salute the hermit when he 
should enter through the square door upon the 
frail pathway to bis cell. In a few seconds, 
Padhre rushed in. 

" God save you, Padhre!" Redmond began; 
" I have come to see you at last." 
• The solitary, not giving a glance towards the 
intruder, and only continuing his mournful and 
somewhat appalling cry, rapidly walked along 



198 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

the jutting ledge ; gained his recess ; entered it, 
with louder lament, as if at finding it open ; 
stuffed the bundle of hay into the low Gothic 
doorway ; and, so shut up, at last was silent. 

Redmond, not able to traverse, with Padhre^s 
precipitancy, the frail line of communication 
between them, slowly picked his steps to the 
forbidden retreat, and there continued to ad- 
dress the hermit. 

" Good Padhre, you do not know me. I am 
your old friend Redmond, and I come to speak 
to you on matters of importance : take away the 
bundle, and let me in." 

He paused for some answering motion in-, 
side. None reached his ear. He continued. 

" Or shall I remove it myself, to save you 
trouble f " 

. Still all was silence ; and Redmond, owing to 
the state of his mind, grew impatient, particu- 
larly as the voices of the two old followers now 
sounded at the entrance to the castle, multiply- 
ing their indignant questions as to who the in- 
truder might be, and showering curses on his 
head, " whoever he was." 

" I must remove it, Padhre, if you do not, 
for I really want your advice and assistance ;* 
— he pushed against the bundle ; but whether 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 199 

it was now better secured, or that Padhre push- 
ed against him, Redmond could not stir it from 
its place. 

" Come out o' that ! come out o'that !" cried 
the two aged beggars, now arrived at the point 
that led upon the ledge, and which immediately 
faced the recess. " Lave our house, whoever you 
are, an* 1 whatever curse dhruv you into it !" 
continued Daddy Clayton — " what duv you 
want there? — what call have you to him?— let 
him alone, or you Ml rue id! — let him be to him- 
self, or you don't know what 'ill come acrass 
you !" 

" Begone, you old idiot !" cried Redmond, ir- 
ritated beyond bounds at the double interrup- 
tion^ — u and get down to your own beds, both 

of you, or " 

"Or what?" interrupted the wrathful speak- 
er, — " what do you threaten on us?— we know 
you now ; but who cares for you, or for your 
likes? — what could you -do to us that 7 s in the 
hands o' them is your masther ? — Lave the place, 
we bid you, an* don't let us threaten you ;— we 
daarVt cross over to you — we 're not bid to do 
id" — (Redmond thought they rather couldn't 
cross over, or were afraid to venture :)— w but 
don't stop there to vex us well — don't stop there 



900 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

to make us say words you won't like to hear, an' 
won't like to feel either." 

'* Silence ! w in his turn interrupted and 
scolded Redmond — " silence, old impostor, and 
get down, I say, lest I walk round to you.— 
Padhre,* turning his voice to the recess — "good 
Padhre, let me in ; and, along with giving me 
comfort in my misfortune, rid me of these poor 
old wretches ; for I am unhappy, Padhre, very 
unhappy, and, in recollection of our former 
friendship, I implore you to listen to me." 

This appeal seemed to rouse the hermit : Red- 
mond heard him move about, and then the 
noise of striking a flint and steel caught his ear. 
Daddy Clayton became also aware, perhaps, of 
these symptoms ; for they appeared to add great 
spite and vehemence to his final address. 

" Imposther ! who 's the imposther ? them 
that the word is said to, or him that says the 
word ? What is he, an* who is he ? Is he what 
he puts up for? who knows? — Wretches! who 
is the wretch, betuxt us ? Lave that, as you 're 
tould an' warned, or may you never lave id 
alive ! — lave id, or may the flag you stand on 
crumble undher your feet — an' now watch well 
if it isn't shakinV Redmond, bringing to mind 
the frailness of his footing, did not feel com- 



P JETER OF THE CASTLE. 201 

fortable. « Lave id, or may He that can, shake 
the ould walls into a hape o' stones above you ! 
The throuble is on you, is id ? May it never 
be off ! may it stop on you till the heart grows 
as withered as the poor, an 1 the puld, an" the 
desolate, you spake your bould words to, this 
night r 

The bundle of hay was here pulled, away, 
and Fadhre appeared at the door with a rush- 
light in his hand, and motioned' the aged im- 
precator and his less boisterous companion to 
retire. They did so, down to their corners 
in the lower chamber, still muttering, in the 
impotent frenzy of age, threats and curses. In 
obedience to another gesture from Padhre, 
Redmond stepped into -the cell: the hermit 
again blocked up the opening ; then laid his 
rushlight, which was stuck in .a clay ball, on 
the floor; pointed his visitor to sit on the box ; 
sat himself on his couch ; and there, with his 
eyes as usual cast down, waited to be addressed. 

" I remember yoirr early kindness to me, 
Padhre, and now, when I am in trouble, come 
to you for comfort,* began Redmond, not well 
knowing how to begin, and, indeed, not well 
knowing what he exactly wished to say ; for, 
as has been noticed, his impulse to visit the old 

k 5 



20£ PETEE OF THE CA8TLE. 

castle was obeyed without being investigated, 
„ and felt but in a very vague manner ; while 
the additional interest created by his discoveries 
since he entered it, only increased his wish to 
address Padhre, without supplying any certain 
points or subject. 

" I have told you I am in trouble," he con- 
tinued, as Padhre remained motionless ; " you 
see me to-night without house or home. ,, The 
listener started. " Yes, Padhre ; I have left my 
guardian's roof for ever/' Padhre suddenly 
looked up, and fixed on Redmond the most in- 
quiring gaze. It was tlie first time the youth 
had ever fully met his eyes; and now their deep 
and intellectual, although mournful charac- 
ter, startled him. They were large, black, and 
finely shaped, arid quite free from the vagueness 
or the peculiarity of expression that bespeaks a 
disordered mind. After one earnest . question 
with them, Padhre again cast them down. 

" I will tell you why, Padhre ; he spoke to me 
of my father : v — Redmond paused, to note the 
effect of this announcement; the hearer only 
shook his head : — " he told me what he was, 
though not who be was. ,, He stopped again ; 
Padhre made no motion. " He told me he was 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 203 

a wretch, Padhre — " the hermit now interrupt- 
ed the statement of his own accord, starting 
more vehemently than before, and a second 
time glancing hastily at Redmond, while his 
eye kindled strangely. 

" Is that true, Padhre ? can you tell me, 
I mean, if it is true ? In our former meetings, 
I sometimes fancied you knew my secret his- 
tory ; — do you know it, Padhre ? can you inform 
me who my parent was? can you inform me 
whether or no I am degraded in his memory ? 
or does he yet live ?" 

His poor companion seemed affected, if not 
agitated, by these questions; yet Redmond 
could not decide if it was a consciousness, or 
merely his compassion for the story he heard, 
that produced the effect., Tears rolled down 
his cheeks, however ; he breathed hard, and 
perhaps strove to control stronger symptoms of 
passion. 

" You do not answer me, Padhre ; yet you 
seem to give me cause for believing that you 
are not unacquainted with " 

A sudden raising of both hands, as if to dis- 
claim the inference about to be. drawn, inter- 
rupted Redmond. The hermit then rose, took 



£04 P^TE£ OF THE GA8tl.fi. 

from under his couch a rough slate, and with 
a piece of soft stone wrote upon it, by the fee- 
ble help of the rushlight — 

" Go back to the house ; his daughter loves 
jsou : love her in return, and be happy. — >Peter 
has no more to say/' 

" Never, Padhre," answered Redmond, when 
he read this ; " never shall I cross that matfs 
threshold, until I prove his story true or false ; 
and if I prove it true, never shall his or any 
other man's roof cover my head. As to your 
thought about the young lady, it is imagi- 
nary;'" — Padhre made an insisting gesture — 
" or, even were it not, I have before told you 
my whole heart is given to another woman : 
but all that has now little to do with the pre- 
sent subject." Again Padhre interrupted him 
with impatient gesticulation, and would fain 
enforce that Redmond was to return to his 
guardian's, and forget all his troubles by unit- 
ing himself to Ellen. 

" Tush, Padhre ; you do not attend to me, 
nor care for my real interests. Is Pratt's heL- 
lish word true !" he continued, growing vehe- 
ment ; " answer me that, man, if you can and 
will ; if you cannot, good night, or good morn- 
ing, for I believe it is now near the daybreak, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 205 

and let me go seek an answer over the wide 
face of the earth." 

Padhre heard him, standing motionless, and 
apparently wrapped in the almost abject humi- 
lity with which he was wont to take every thing 
Kke ill-treatment, by whomsoever directed to 
him. Redmond was touched at the expression 
of the poor solitary ; and from the want of 
interest, too, displayed towards the chief topic 
which concerned him, inclined to believe that 
all his notions of Padhre having really known 
anything about him, must now prove ill-founded 
and romantic. This caused him to resume in a 
milder tone. 

"Well, old friend, you cannot help me, I 
see ; so farewell!'' He held out his hand. 
Padhre drew back ; not coldly nor in dislike, 
but as if in avoidance of a greeting he was not 
permitted to give or take. " A wordy farewell, 
then, if you will have it so; and a farewell for 
ever, Padhre : I know I will have your prayers:*" 
•—the old man knelt down — " yes, I know that; 
for I remember your kindness to me when 
I was a child, though you will not remember it 
with sufficient interest to explain it ; — an eternal 
farewell, Padhre, to you and your old castle, 



I 



906 PETER OP THE CASTLE. 

and this country that I used to think my native 
country — " 

At the repetition of the words " eternal fare- 
well," the solitary started from his knees, and, 
with shakings of the head and rejecting motions 
of his hands, seemed to refuse to part on such 
terms. 

" It must be so," continued Redmond ; " I 
cannot live here after my good name, old friend. rt 
Padhre grew more earnest in his expos- 
tulations. " No, no; this night, though I know 
not where to get the means, I start for Dub- 
lin; and from that place Heaven knows whi- 
ther." 

The hermit made a sign that he should stop ; 
paused a moment in deep thought ; again wrote 
on his slate, and handed it to Redmond, who 
read — " If you are so obstinate, come to me 
again, though you will not go home : come in 
eleven days ; I will think of all that troubles 
you, and ask and pray that you may get a 
relief. Think you of her that loves yon, and 
whose heart pines for your love. Now God 
above be your guard." 

Redmond had scarce perused these lines, 
when the rushlight ceased to burn, and Padhre 
retired to his couch. Inconsistently indulging, 



FETEH OF THE CASTLE. 207 

for a moment, a recurrence of his previous 
thought that, in some way or other, the hermit 
and he were bound together in one fate, Red- 
mond at last replied to the written command, 
"Well, Padhre, wherever I may now go, or 
whatever happens to me in the mean time, I 
will come and see you again in eleven days. 
And now, as you have said to me I say to you 
— God bless you." 

He left the recess, and cautiously stepping 
over nearly two sides of the jutting water- 
course, gained the staircase, and began to 
descend. He *had not reached the bottom of 
the second flight, when he thought he heard 
a stealthy footstep above him ; and ere he 
gained the landing-place before the chamber 
occupied by Padhre's old warders, a heavy 
purse, as was at once indicated by the sound 
it gave, dropped on the stone he must step over. 
Redmond stooped ; picked it up ; and not 
doubting that his strange friend, following him 
from the recess, had cast it down for him, un- 
hesitatingly appropriated it. 
. As he passed the door of the old men's cham- 
ber, Daddy Clayton, roused by the heavy jin- 
gle of the purse just at his threshold, screamed 
out, " There, he's quittin*' our house at last, 



SOS PETXE OF THE CASTXE. 

afther robbin' us, an rune-in' us ! Our hearty 
curse go along wid him ! May every sktuHhT 
he takes away" — (really suspecting how the 
purse was had, perhaps, but jealous of its ap- 
propriation,) " every skhillin' an' every goolden 
guinea turn into a red cendher o' hell's fire h 
his pocket!" — and Redmond, hurrying down, 
lost half of the good wishes of this kind that 
were sent after him. 

He gained the river-side without a plan, and 
still at the mercy of every impulse. A new one 
started in his mind, and he at once obeyed it 
He would hasten to Dublin, unbosom himself 
to an old and confidential friend, and solicit 
counsel and comfort. A town from which a 
mode of conveyance could be had was only a 
few miles distant. He walked on for it ; gained 
Dublin in about ten hours after ; found that his 
friend had gone to London; remained in his 
hotel, moody and solitary, during two days ; then 
came out and called on some other friends, but 
such as he would not think of committing him- 
self to ; experienced from them a coldness and 
repulsion he could not explain, but from which 
he quickly shrunk back ; (it was, in fact, the 
result of certain letters Mr. Pratt had written to 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. S09 

town, in anticipation of Redmond's arrival ;) 
thought of embarking for England, or America, 
or any where; recollected in horror and an- 
guish his appointment with Cushneiche, and 
with irritating interest his other appointment for 
a subsequent day with Padhre ; returned to the 
country by stealth; walked, from a rather distant 
point, to Tobin's house, on the evening of the 
wedding ; lurked about it until he had a second 
interview with the robber, that almost fixed him 
in despairing certainty ; and afterwards waited 
outside until Mr. Pratt had been spirited away, 
and until his own rencounter with Miss D'Ar- 
nell. 



210 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

When Mr. Pratt unsuspectingly followed 
Cushneiche out of the barn into the house, he 
found a second man, wrapt in a loose outside 
coat, waiting for them in the parlour where the 
guests had been dancing before dinner. The 
hard and bad expression of this person's face 
struck him the moment they met, and perhaps 
he felt a slight misgiving. But he was not al- 
lowed time for doubt or second thoughts. Cush- 
neiche cautiously shut the door, as soon as they 
had stepped over its threshold, and standing 
with his back to it, began his real business. 

" We Ve sorry for the throuble you 11 have, 
Sir; but afore you look at the deed for us, 
we '11 want you home until mornin'* — not a 
word, now, i* you please ;" — as the gentleman 
started back, and was about to speak; — " it 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 211 

might disturb the honest people o* the house, 
an* we 're not for disturbing any body, when 
we can help it — so, you may 's well — Yallow 
Sam \ n addressing his companion, in this inter- 
ruption, " look sharp, lad." — Sam instantly drew 
out a pistol, as Cushneiche showed another. " You 
may 's well, I say, walk down the bosheen wid 
us, quiet an' asy, an' have no fear of hurt or 
harum from us, in regard you Ye in the hands 
o' two gintlemin, every inch o' them; only if 
one word comes out o* your mouth, somethin' 
else 'ill be likely to come out o' this— or that,"-^- 
touching his own pistol, and pointing to Sam's 
- — " that maybe you wouldn't care to swally 
afther your wine, as well as a bit o' Kitty To- 
bin's bride-cake.'* 1 

" An' if it 's a hail or a talk you want, mas- 
ter," observed Sam, " you '11 have enough o' that 
when we stow you on board. v 

" On board !" faltered Mr. Pratt, notwith- 
standing the threats held out, speaking, how- 
ever, in a very low tone. Sam instantly put his 
pistol to his head. 

"Stop, Sam; forgive an' forget, this time; 
though, Sir," addressing himself to Pratt, " it 's a 
brache of ordhers we can't overlook again ; an' 
as to Sam's word, don't mind it ; he was at sey 



212 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

onct in his life, with myself too, an' he can't 
forget the sey talk, when it 's no use to remem- 
ber it ; — but this is all a waste o* the precioui 
time: come, Sir; no hurt is intended to you, 
I say again, on the word of a gintleman, if you 
walk fair an* asy between us." 

He opened the parlour-door, peeped out 
cautiously into the kitchen, listened, and then, 
with a sign to his comrade, stole on tiptoe to- 
wards the entrance to the yard, from which the 
crowd of beggars had retired, leaving & dead 
silence behind them. 

" Come, brother, a grapple," said Sam, offer* 
ing his arm. Mr. Pratt shrunk back. u Ha — * 
cocking his pistol — " no mutiny, I tell you-— 
but, first, what cargo, eh ? v — rifling the gentle- 
man's fob and pockets of his watch, a few gui- 
neas, and a purse of silver — "light enough ; 
but can't help that," — putting up his prize — " an' 
now we 're afore the wind, square an' tight." 

Twining his great arm round Mr. Pratt's, of 
which the hard uneven pressure felt like a coil 
of twisted cables, he conveyed him to the yard : 
Cushneiche met them, also linked the gentleman* 
and the party proceeded to the road. At about 
the point where Redmond afterwards withdrew 
from MissD'Arneli, they crossed the loose fence, 



PET?*. OF THE CASTLE. 818 

and struck for the river side, avoiding the old 
castles, and approaching the water higher up 
towards their source. . Ere they had half made 
way, however, down the intervening grounds, 
Cushneiche stopped, and pulling a large silk 
handkerchief from his pocket, deliberately folded 
it into the shape in which neckcloths are usually 
worn, as he said, " Atf now we have to ax par- 
don a second time, but your honour 'ill have 
to put on this, afore we stir a step farther." 

Mr. Pratt felt a hideous misgiving as to the 
way it was intended to be put on; and, when the 
robber motioned to arrange it, fell on his knees, 
and in a cautious yet distracted tone asked for 
mercy. Sam laughed savagely, and added, 
" Deep sey take the lubber, it's thinkin o' the 
yard arm he is;" while Cushneiche relieved the 
suppliant's fears, by wrapping the handkerchief 
over his eyes, and tying it hard at the back of his 
head. They then resumed their journey; the two 
men again linking Mr. Pratt, and supporting him 
as he faltered or tripped during the continued 
descent. 

He endeavoured to note in his mind the di- 
rection they were taking ; but he thought that 
the robbers sought to baffle him in the attempt, 



214 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

by doubling, more than once, to the right and 
to the left ; and when more than sufficient time 
for gaining the river had elapsed, and that still 
it was not gained, although its gentle ripple 
came uninterruptedly on his ear, he felt more 
assured of their tactics. He was, however, 
compelled at the same time to acknowledge 
to himself, that the manoeuvring, although 
strongly suspected by him, put him. so far out 
of his calculations, as at last to leave a doubt 
whether they were conveying him up or down 
the stream. 

They walked him through a wood, evidently 
spreading over ground that still shelved ; but he 
was not able to decide on its situation, inasmuch 
as he knew two of the same kind lying some 
distance asunder, and N could not assure himself 
which of the two this was. Emerging from it, 
they dragged him again over open ground ; and 
finally stopped at the river's edge, where the rush- 
ing and broken noise of the water informed Mr. 
Pratt's ear that there was a fordable shallow. 
Once more he tried to calculate his position; 
but, as in the former case, brought to mind two 
or three points, up and down the river, similar 
to this, and was unsuccessful. 

Cushneiche whistled, and the footsteps of two 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 215 

additional friends were heard. The men came 
up, lifted him on their shoulders, and stepped 
into the water. His original captors followed. - 

When they gained the opposite bank, Cush- 
neiche asked of the new comers, " How soon 
can we cross the other sthrame, boys?" — "In 
no time,'" they answered, meaning "very soon.* 
u Stir the shanks, then F and he and Sam 
grappled Mr. Pratt, and walked him on. 

The prisoner strove to remember of what 
stream they had spoken. He knew only one, 
which, running parallel to the river they had 
forded, lay some miles into the hills. While 
he was employing his thoughts on the sub- 
ject, his guides helped him over a fence ; soon 
after, over another; then up an eminence; 
then along level ground ; then up and down 
again ; until, as before, he could not tell in what 
direction from the river they were travelling. 
But, in about half an hour, the angry rippling 
of water a second time sounded near ; and a se- 
cond time he was raised on the shoulders of 
two men, and carried across another ford. For 
some hundred yards he could now be sure that 
he was urged on in a straight line ; and at last 
his conductors stopped. He heard the noise of 
tumbling stones, as if clearing away from some 



816 PETEE OF THE CASTLK. 

spot before him, and he was ushered into a re. 
treat, where, as he cautiously stepped along, for 
about ten yards, his footsteps, and those of the 
persons who accompanied him, were prolonged 
with a hollow reverberation. He judged that 
he passed through a vault of some kind ; but in 
what part of his neighbourhood such a thing, 
so circumstanced, was situated, Mr. Pratt could 
not conjecture. While he walked on, he fek 
straw or rushes under his feet ; and a red light 
soon became sensible to his vision, even through 
the bandage Cushneiche had supplied. 

Mr. Pratt was led by the arm to a large 
stone, and desired to sit on it. 

" We ax pardon over agin, Sir," said the 
* robber ; " but the gossip you Ye to meet isn't 
come as yet, an' till he 's to the fore 'twould be 
a woful waste o* words to be spakin' to any other 
body round you ; so you '11 jist keep the mouth 
shet, like a quiet dacent gintleman; for Sam 
there — (he's handy by you) — has a knack for 
stoppin' a pratin' tongue. Sam, sit by his ho- 
nor, an* mind ordhers." 

Mr. Pratt heard the willing subaltern obey 
the command, and then the foot of, as he 
judged, Cushneiche, sound along the retreat, 
and die away abroad in the distance. 



]>ETER OF THE CASTLE. 217 

It was Cushneiche, who tracing back much of 
the way they had come, at last gained a com- 
manding point of ground, sat down and look- 
ed around him. The person he expected and 
awaited soon ran up, panting and impassioned, 
after his farewell with Miss D'Arnell. 

" What brings you here ?" he began, evi- 
dently not expecting to meet Cushneiche ; " he 
has escaped all your plans, I suppose P and do 
you think to baffle me again, and at last ?" 

" He hasn't escaped, Redmond ; he 's snug 
undher the arch, where I tould you you'd find 
him ; but I come to sit here for two rasons. 
First, that you mightn't think he an* I had any 
collodgin' together, while you stopped away ; 
an' next, to have a little more discourse wid you, 
betwixt ourselfs, afore you go to hear what he 
has to tell you." 

u We have had discourse enough, together, 
outside the barn, just now ; but go on." 

" Yes ; I gave you the account there, of how 
I cum to pitch upon Pratt for the buyin' o' the 
grounds an* the house for me an' you ; or for 
yourself alone, Redmond a-chorra— that 's it ; 
— an* the account of how I met him, an' put 
you into his hands, an' was forced to lave the 
parchments wid him, till I could call back soon, 

VOL. III. l 



218 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

an' get them up, and so make everything right, as 
I thought; an' all that story you 're now to hear 
agin, out of his mouth ; but where I got the 
threasure to pay him, an' why I didn't come 
back, as I laid out to do, for twenty long years 
afther, you haven't heard from me yet, ma 
bouchal." 

" Nor is it necessary I should. I can guess 
the account you would supply. You got the 
money in a manner that it is disgrace and death 
for me to think of, and you did not come back 
because — " he stopped and hid his face with his 
•hands. Cushneiche resumed. 

" Ay, Redmond ; you needn't be tould it ; 
I only went back to England to lay my hand 
on the last lob I hid afore I brought you to 
Pratt, my mind full of givin' up the ould 
thrade, an* of settlin* in my own counthry, 
wid a new name, an' rearin' you to be a gin- 
tleman an' a good Christhen, an' you an' no 
one else knowin' how it come about, when one 
o' my nearest cronies sould the pass on me, 
the very day I touched English ground, an' the 
big wigs thought it was a great favour they 
done me to send me across the wide seys, for 
life, instead of — no matther what ; — that 's how 
it all happened, Redmond. I couldn't make 



\ 






# PETER OF THE CASTLE. 219 

myself known to Pratt, afther this short turn ; 
I was forced to lave you an' the parchments in 
his hands, an' go on my long voyage, only ho- 
pin* the day 'ud come when I might give them 
the slip across the wather, an' speed to poor 
Ireland to see you rightified ; but there was a 
hard eye as well as a hard hand kept over me ; 
an' it 's not many months sence I was able to 
take my lave o' them at last, an' thravel here 
to look for you. v 

" And here your arrived, unhappy man, with 
your old vices only confirmed by a reckoning of 
twenty long years, and ready to break out 
again into the recent acts that, above all former 
ones, disgrace .your white hairs, and — if your 
story is true — brand your most miserable off- 
spring/' 

" I was poor an* friendless, an' bare an* na- 
ked, Redmond, and what could I do ? I knew 
no thrade but the ould one ; nothin' else came 
handy to me ; an* then I had to wait to see you 
in the counthry, an* gain a knowledge o' you, 
by lookin' at you, that we might spake toge- 
ther, an' that no one but you might know your 
bad father was to the fore — an* how was I to 
live while I waited ? More-betoken, a-bouchal — " 

" No matter," interrupted Redmond ; " let 

l 2 



220 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

us end this, and go at once to Pratt. Is he kept 
blindfolded as you promised ?" 

" As blind as the bat, Redmond ; you can 
stand by him, cheek by jowl, an' he '11 never 
see you, if you hould your tongue ; % though it 
was not Redmond alone that Cushneiche wished 
to keep from Pratt's view. 

" Come, then ;" Redmond walked forward. 

" Come, a-vich ;" following him ; " an' you 
won't wondher to hear me change the voice, an' 
the way o' spakin' when we 're talkin' to him, 
becase, you see, the time I put you into his 
hands, I done the same thing, to throw dust 
in his eyes, purtendin' to chaffer like a for'n 
gintleman, or the like, that the tongue might 
be a match to the story I tould, an 1 the cloathes 
I wore." 

" I shall wonder at nothing, if you make that 
story good to him and to me— quick, we lose 
time ;" and Redmond and Cushneiche rapidly 
walked back to the place where Mr. Pratt was 
left in custody with " Yallow Sam." 

That gentleman soon heard two persons ap- 
proaching. He stretched his ear to ascertain if 
one of them stepped like Cushneiche, to whose 
tread, when a short time before he left the rob- 
ber's den, Mr. Pratt had paid particular atten- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 221 

tion ; and he expected to recognize in the step 
of the new-comer, the approach of his ward 
Redmond. But he had to argue cases with one 
as much, alive as he was to such nice calcula- 
tions. 

" Harkee, a-vich," whispered Cushneiche to 
his companion, ere they came close ; " the ould 
attorney 'ill know who you are, though he can't 
see a stim, if you don't walk short an' sharp, 
instid o' taking them seven-lague sthrides : by 
the hand o' my body, he can smell you if you 
stand betwixt his nose an 9 the wind ; so, just 
walk in like some other body besides yourself ; 
the same that I will sthrive to do, plase God." 

And, true to his plan, Cushneiche assumed a 
heavy, stalking gait, as he led the way to Pratt ; 
while Redmond, following, broke up his usual 
pace into the kind of mincing one his conductor 
had recommended. 

" That 's neither one nor the other of them," 
thought Mr. Pratt, as they entered ; " but I 
must be observant." 

Cushneiche pointed Redmond to stand in a 
situation the most remote from which he could 
perfectly hear the coming conversation. Then 
he at once began to question his prisoner, 
changing his voice, as he had premised to Red- 



i 



222. PETER OF THE CASTLE, 

mond he would do, into a deep sonorous ca- 
dence, and affecting to speak in the description 
of broken English it might be supposed a Spa- 
niard or a Spanish colonist would use ; but as 
this embarrassed, if it did not in a degree bur- 
lesque the rather important nature of die ques- 
tions he asked and the answers he received, it 
will be as well to translate his gibberish into 
plainer language. 

" Joshua Pratt, do you know why you are 
brought here, to-night ?" 

The prisoner started at the first sound of the 
voice and language, but after a pause, said, 
" No." 

u Have a care ; recollect yourself. Can you 
guess who asks you the question ?" 

Pratt again paused a considerable time, and 
at last answered — 6t Perhaps I do." 

" Then you know why you are here. What 
has become of your ward, Redmond Redmond ? v 

".He left my house against my will or wish, 
and is now, I believe and hope, in Dublin." 

" Your house ?" Goon." 

" I will." 

" You know there is more than one pistol 
at your head ; and you ought to know that if 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 223 

you do not give true answers to all I shall de- 
mand of you, the bullets they hold may soon fly 
through your brain."" 

" Well ; I shall speak under such an im- 
pression." 

" You know too, or you fear at least, that 
the man who discourses with you is the man to 
give the sign when the triggers are to be pull- 
ed, because he has a right to judge the truth or 
the falsehood of what you say." 

"Be it so; I will speak the truth, and no- 
thing but the truth." 

" Hearken another word. You have done 
great wrong, and you know that too; wrong 
and dishonesty to an innocent child, and to a 
stranger who trusted every thing dear to him 
into your hands. But it is not now intended 
to punish you; a true account of your own 
villany, and justice, at last, to the victims of 
it, is all that is asked. You shall not even be 
called to a public account in any shape ; per- 
haps you will even be allowed to j keep some of 
your plunder." 

" That is generous; I acknowledge having 
done wrong, and am now more than ever in- 
clined to make restitution." 



884 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" God send it But now mind yourself. 
Who is the father of Redmond Redmond ?" 

" I do not know ; that is, I do not clearly 
and fully know." 

" Have, you ever seen his father ?" 

" I have seen the person from whom I re- 
ceived the boy, and who called himself his 
father." 

" By what name ?" 

" Redmond Velasquez." 

Cushneiche held up his finger to Redmond, 
who bowed his head in agitated assent. 

" What did he represent himself to be ?" 

" A Spanish gentleman, partly of Irish ex- 
traction, who had amassed great wealth in Spa- 
nish America, and who was anxious to spend 
the remainder of his life in Ireland." 

Signals again passed between Cushneiche and 
Redmond. 

" What did you believe him to be ? v 

" I believed his story at the time." 

u Have you altered your opinion of it since ? 
what do you now believe he was? what have 
you reported he was, within the last few days ?" 

Pratt slightly started, and for a moment was 
silent, as if trying to accommodate his mind in 



PETEfi OF THE CASTLE. 2S6 

the best way to a new circumstance of his situa- 
tion heretofore unexpected, or at least now made 
certain. 

" Why do you stop ? — Cock your pistol. 
Yellow Sam." 

Pratt again winced under the click, close to 
his ear, which instantly followed this command. 
He quickly recovered himself, however. 

" There is no need of your threat, or of this 
shocking preparation, if, indeed, you mean to 
keep your word with me, and save my life in re- 
ward for the strict truth of my answers. I will 
reply to your last question freely. I have alter- 
ed my opinion of the story told to me by the 
person who called himself Redmond Velasquez ; 
that alteration of opinion was expressed in the 
rumours to which you allude; and those ru- 
mours went to say that my ward Redmond was, 
most probably, the son of an individual who had 
accumulated his wealth by repeated breaches of 
the laws that, in every country, protect pro- 
perty : 9 

"You mean that he robbed and plundered 
for it r 

" Some such thing." 

" Have you ever added, in the rumour, that, 
since his transactions with you, Redmond Ve- 

l 5 



226 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

lasquez had, in all likelihood, suffered a shame- 
ful death ?" 

" Yes ; but I had little further authority for 
that addition than the natural conclusion that, 
unless prevented by such a fate, he would have 
returned to claim his child and his property.'" 

" What led you to think that he was the 
character you now suppose he was ?" 

" The answer had best be given in a shape 
that, although lengthened, will contain a history 
of all my knowledge on the subject, and all my 
connexion with it." 

" Answer as you like, but go on." 

" But a short space of time is wanted to 
make it twenty years since my meeting with the 
man who called himself Redmond Velasquez. 
Previous to our meeting, I was, as hundreds 
remember, a poor and unemployed barrister, 
mostly residing in the village yonder. A letter 
came to me, from London, bearing his signa- 
ture, which instructed me to treat, in his name, 
for the purchase of a large estate, then to be 
sold, in the neighbourhood. He had recently 
been travelling in Ireland, he said, and, from a 
passing view, liked the property ; and the let- 
ter added accounts of his rank and character, 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 227 

and of his wish to spend the remainder of his 
days in a country, to the people of which he 
considered himself partially allied. It then 
proceeded to instruct me to close the transaction 
with the venders as quickly and as secretly 
as possible ; to get title-deeds prepared in his 
name, and that of his son, which was the same 
with his ; and to expect him over in Ireland, in 
a short time, to receive the deeds from me ; and 
a£ my security, in obeying his wishes, the letter 
enclosed the halves of two bills on a Dublin 
house, of sufficient amount to make the pur- 
chase, considerable as it was, and leave an over- 
plus. 

" My first step was to hasten to Dublin, call 
at the house on which the bills were drawn, and 
submit the signature of the drawer ; for the 
halves remitted to me were those which bore 
that signature. I was answered that the prin- 
cipals were ready to honour the draughts, and, 
moreover, had received advice of the drawing of 
the bills from their highly-respectable mercan- 
tile correspondent in London. After this, I did 
not hesitate to write from Dublin to Redmond 
Velasquez, acknowledging the enclosure, and 
professing myself ready to proceed in the pur- 



I 



228 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

chase of the estate, so soon as he should remit 
the second halves of the bills. They duly ar- 
rived. I closed the business in his name, and 
prepared and had the title-deeds legally exe- 
cuted. 

" But I did not as quickly register them. 
Even so soon, I began to have vague notions of 
a certain mystery about my unknown corres- 
pondent, of which, I argued, I might possibly 
take advantage. While in Dublin, I recollect- 
ed some friends that had spent the greater parts 
of their lives in Spanish America, and were 
acquainted with the names, at least, of almost 
every person in the country, who, in their time, 
had acquired wealth to the great seeming ex- 
tent of the individual in question; and, without 
at all betraying the confidence reposed in me — 
indeed I guarded it for my own sake — I cau- 
tiously asked if they recollected the name of 
Redmond Velasquez. They had never heard 
it. I went on to ask if it was probable a per- 
son of that name could, for a series of years 
before, have been acquiring vast riches in Spa- 
nish America, without their knowledge. They 
thought such a case quite impossible ; as they 
had, themselves, been engaged in all the pur- 
suits by which wealth was made in the colony, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 229 

and were certain that, from their long residence, 
extensive mercantile and trading connections, 
and minute information, they must have heard, 
year after year, the title and description of 
every such rising adventurer. But they referred 
me to other sources of information, of which I 
availed myself; and every inquiry only added 
strength to my doubt, and I returned to my 
village, resolved to act very cautiously. 

'* In fact, I began to recollect that there were 
ways of amassing wealth, on the high seas of the 
Spanish Main, other than those warranted by 
industry and fair dealing. Or it was possible, 
I thought, for one of the free-booters who, 
then, more than now, infested the high-roads in 
England, to accumulate great riches without 
crossing the Atlantic ; and if the money with 
which I had purchased the estate was obtained 
in any such manner, and could be proved to 
have been so obtained, I was not able to resist 
the vast hope of keeping in my own hands the 
produce of booty over which a pirate or a rob- 
ber could have no legal control. So I avoided 
registering the deeds in the name of Redmond 
Velasquez ; of course they were not registered 
at all ; and I sat down to reduce my great and 
agitating speculations to some order, and to 



\ 



230 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

calculate, in case of the contingency I reckoned 
as probable, how I should act. I was poor, 
and the sudden prospect of wealth filled and 
disturbed my whole soul. 

" I wrote to an old schoolfellow in London 
to make close inquiries as to who and what my 
correspondent really was. I gave the address, 
as supplied to me, and also the address of the 
mercantile persons who had drawn the bills, 
hinting an obscure suspicion, which, as my 
friend was also in the law, would however set 
him earnestly at work. To this letter I got no 
answer for a long time ; ray friend was out of 
London. But another circumstance gave al- 
most the assurance which an answer from him, 
containing certain information, might have sup- 
plied. Redmond Velasquez did not come, as 
quickly as he had given me to expect, to claim 
his purchase ; — weeks, months, wore away, 
and I did not hear from him or of him, in 
any shape. My over-anxious calculations be- 
gan to flatter me with the supposition, that 
already some event, some discovery or unex- 
pected chance, to which all persons of the cha- 
racter -I had supplied to him are liable, must 
have occurred to keep him back, and perhaps 
cut him off for ever, by death or necessitous 



PETEA OF THE CASTLE. 231 

self -banishment, from the enjoyment of his 
estate. My toiling and needy hands began to 
• tremble with the pleasureable anticipations of 
a great change in life and circumstances, and 
ambition and avarice whispered delicious pro- 
spects, when I was suddenly brought to my 
senses, and plunged back into all my conscious- 
ness of laborious poverty. 
" He came at last. 

" My humble village-house directly faced 
the little inn, and as I stood at my office win- 
dow, one dark and drizzling evening in No- 
vember, 17-*-, a private travelling-carriage of 
a sombre colour, rattled down the empty street, 
and stopped at the inn-door. An arrival so 
unusual, in a place so retired and inland, did 
not fail to arouse general curiosity ; every one 
ran to look out at their doors or windows ; but 
no one felt the novelty as I did. I had been 
indulging one of my brightest visions, and it 
vanished like a dream the moment the equi- 
page appeared ; my heart sunk in a sickening 
omen. Some one got out of the carriage, en- 
tered the inn, and I stood sure of a summons. 
I was not disappointed. In a few moments, 
the landlord hurried across -the street, knocked 
loudly at my door, and informed me, in breath- 



282 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

less bustle and amaze, that a foreign gentleman, 
a prince, he believed, desired to see me. I said 
I would attend him. The landlord went back; 
I sat an instant, to summon up my self-posses- 
sion, and to arrange all the points I could think 
of, and then followed him. 

" I was ushered into the principal room in 
the little inn. A stranger, certainly wearing a 
foreign dress, and having a foreign air, paced 
quickly up and down the apartment. It was, 
as I have said, deep twilight, and I could not 
see his features distinctly; they were further hid- 
den by his broad-leafed hat ; but he wore mus~ 
tachoes, and had an air of mixed fierceness and 
nobility.' The landlord, who had opened the 
door to me, asked, before he withdrew, if he 
should bring a light. The stranger answered 
no, in an abrupt tone, and commanded him to 
begone. I remained standing at the door, and 
bowed, repeatedly. For some time he took no 
notice of me, although, in continuing to pace 
up and down, we often confronted each other. 
Perhaps, too, the state of my feelings and 
thoughts towards him, and the sudden arrival 
and view of a person so high and grand in his 
appearance and manner, at the very moment I 
had been investing him with a disgraceful cha- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 333 

racter, gave a humiliated and mean expression 
to my face, person, and bearing, which deprived 
me, in his mind, of any right to the usual 
forms of respect. 

u At last, suddenly stopping before me, he 
said, speaking in the foreign phrase and lan- 
guage you speak in, — and, as well as I can 
remember, the tone of the voice was the same, 
i Your name is Pratt, and we have correspond- 
ed together.' 

" I assented. He proceeded to demand if the 
estate had been purchased. I answered that 
it had. Then he called on me for the title 
deeds. I readily replied, according to previous 
arrangement, that I had sent them to Dublin 
to be registered. He seemed not to understand 
this, but expressed and showed great impatience 
and anger at not immediately getting them. I 
explained the necessity of the proceeding, and, 
after a pause, he desired me to go out of the 
room, write an acknowledgment that I had pur- 
chased the estate, and executed the titles, in his 
name, and on his account ; that the latter were 
not immediately forthcoming, in consequence 
of the reason I gave ; but that, on his speedy 
return, I should have them ready. I withdrew 
accordingly, and, at the same time, he walked 



234 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

into an inner room, and I heard him asking for 
lights. When I returned with the form of ac- 
knowledgment, I found him again in the outer 
apartment. He snatched the paper from me, 
and a second time passed into the now lighted 
room. In a few seconds he called to the land- 
lord, who immediately attended him, and, as I 
afterwards learned, whom he caused to sign the 
paper, as a witness, having first ascertained 
that the man had just seen me writing and 
subscribing it. 

" Again he joined me, and said, * You will 
be the better of your connexion with this affair, 
if you are willing still to do all I require of you. 
I cannot now stop to take possession of my 
estate, being called away by pressing business 
to France, and it is with difficulty I have been 
able to spare time for my present journey ; but 
I wish to leave my son in your care until I 
return ; and I empower you to take possession 
of the house on my estate, in his name and 
mine, to live there with him until I return, 
and to act as my agent, upon an annuity of five 
hundred pounds. Do you consent ?' 

" After a moment's pause, I gave an affirma- 
tive. 

" i But what I wish you to do is to be done 



fETEft OF THE CASTLE. 235 

promptly ,\ he continued ; ' you must take charge 
of my son this very night, if at all ; and he is 
not quite at hand; his nurse and he got ill 
after the little sea voyage* and, as time pressed, 
I left them on the coast. Can you come with 
me this moment to meet them ? Your refusal 
or denial makes us friends, or ends our ac- 
quaintance.' 

" Thus pressed, and by no meang wishing to 
lose sight of the man, or, supposing me to fail 
in higher aims, of the annuity he proposed, I 
at once consented. He then only delayed in the 
inn to recompense the landlord for the trouble 
he had given, when, desiring me to follow him 
to his carriage, we got into it, and were rapidly 
driven out of the village. 

" It was about nine o'clock. The night fell 
fast and black, and, though sitting opposite to . 
him, I lost all view of my companion. Scarce 
a word was exchanged between us. He never 
began to converse ; and when I ventured a re- 
mark, or asked a question, he only yielded an 
abrupt monosyllable, which sounded as if I had 
roused him from slumber. At midnight,^ we 

gained the little sea-coast hamlet of . The 

carriage stopped at a mean public-house. He 
got out, desiring me to await his coming back. 



236 PETJtB OF THE CASTLE. 

Era he passed from my view, some seafaring 
men met him near the carriage, and, pointing 
towards the shore, spoke to him in a whisper. 
He looked, nodded, as if in assent, and left 
them. I also looked, and indistinctly saw the 
sails of a vessel, as if unfurled for a voyage. 
He soon returned, accompanied by two women, 
one of a foreign aspect and dress, the dther a 
woman of the place. The former carried a child 
beneath her cloak, and banded it to the latter, 
who had just been engaged to take care of the - 
infant as far as I was to accompany it. 

" ' There is your charge,* he said, handing 
the poor woman and her burden into the car- 
riage to me. ' When you arrive at home, en- 
gage a regular nurse for the child. Take the 
carriage with you, as, until I return, I shall 
not want it ; and take this too,' giving me a 
heavy purse, 'lest you have not sufficient mo- 
ney left for your new purposes; we shall strike 
an account soon. Now, good night;' and, pass- 
ing the arm of the foreign-looking female 
through his, , both walked towards the vessel, 
whose canvas was spread to the wind. The 
child thus given up to me was my ward, Red- 
mond Redmond. When his father had remain- 



PBTBB OF THJC CASTLE. 287 

ed years away, that was tbe name I confirmed 
to him. 

" The carriage drove back, without a mo- 
ment's delay, towards my native village. I was 
in hopes of being able to gain, by questioning 
the driver, whom, at the inn, I observed was 
the stranger's own servant, some information 
or clue to all this mystery ; but when, before 
daybreak, we arrived at our destination, I saw 
I had been accompanied home by another man, 
an inhabitant, like tbe. temporary nurse, of tbe 
small sea-coast hamlet. From them nothing 
important could be expected; and I forbore 
questioning them, lest, in furtherance of a plan 
that during the journey 1 had conceived, it 
might be supposed I was at a loss to account 
for any thing to which they knew 1 was a wit- 
ness. . 

" That same morning I took possession of 
the very noble mansion attached to the estate. 
The woman who had brought Redmond home, 
I sent back to her hamlet, without a remark, 
and put the child to nurse at the farm-house, 
where I have spent this present evening. 
Then, prepared to account for the step to the 
stranger on the ground of making fit arrange- 
ments for his return, in case he should return, 



288 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

I boldly set to work to form a household 
establishment commensurate with the consider- 
able rental of which he or I was to be the pro- 
prietor : all the while avoiding to satisfy any of 
the numerous inquiries that I knew would arise 
as to ray changed situation. My first corres- 
pondence with Redmond Velasquez I had kept, 
a& 1 have said, a profound secret ; no one had 
heard of such a name except the persons from 
whom I made the purchase, and they were 
English assignees, who long before left the 
country : it could not, therefore, be suspected 
that I was merely the agent of another proprie- 
tor of the property ; the astonished neighbours 
would, i argued, at once invest me with that 
proprietorship ; and I left them to unriddle, at 
their leisure, the mystery of how I arrived at 
such amazing good fortune. First, I secluded 
myself from all visitors, and so got rid of the 
trouble of giving vague or equivocating answers. 
Then I secretly left the country, and spent 
much time in Dublin ; and when I returned 
home, chance threw in my way a man who, by 
proper management, I found would be exactly 
the person to give, without involving me, the 
kind of impression I wished to have confirmed. 
This man was William Cotteril. He had been 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 239 

employed by my land steward to assist in the 
collection of small rents, and had therefore some 
access to me. I observed that, under affecta- 
tion of great simplicity, he hid a griping sense 
of his own interests, a subserviency and a kind 
of devotion to any one that could promote them, 
and, above all, a smooth and irresistible knack 
of gaining the secrets of others, or of insinu- 
ating whatever statement he wished to be be- 
lieved. After attaching him to me by the means 
I knew would succeed, I soon detected him, 
during our half-confidential hours of business, 
trying to win from me some notions of how I 
had so suddenly arisen from penury into afflu- 
ence. Not seeming to notice his view, or, at 
least, to notice it with displeasure, I took him in 
the way that served my purpose. First, I 
gave him vaguely to understand that a brother 
of mine, whom all the village were aware had 
in his boyhood gone to sea, died abroad in very 
flourishing circumstances. Next, that he left a 
son ; next, that when I went to Dublin, upon 
receipt of the London letter, it might have 
been for the purchase-money of the estate ; — 
and then, the stranger with whom it was known 
I left the inn, might be the foreign agent who 
had charge of my nephew, and also of other 



240 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

effects of my deceased brother. But through 
all this story I never made an assertion. 
And, in conclusion, I hinted that for certain 
grievous domestic reasons, not to be explain- 
ed, I was not left at liberty to bring up my 
ward in the knowledge of his father's name 
or character, or of the manner of his death. 
At the same time, I knew Cotteril would re- 
peat every word I had said, with his own 
modifications and additions ; indeed, I made 
him feel, unknown to himself, that such might 
be my wish ; and he was precisely the man, in 
fact, to make himself useful. ^ 

"It was soon known that I wished no ques- 
tions to be asked on the subject : and although, 
in consequence of this belief, a taint might be 
supposed to attach to the memory of my bro- 
ther, and to the way in which his wealth had 
accrued, yet the usual influence of riches did 
not fail in my regard, and I took my rank as a 
gentleman of great property, and my estated 
neighbours overlooked the doubt. 

" All this while it is needless to observe that 
Redmond Velasquez did not return. But, if 
he had, I could fear nothing from the story that 
prevailed. I could prove that I had never au- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 841 

thorized it ; I could challenge any man to say 
I had ; and even if he suspected my tampering 
with Cotteril, I could make him assured that 
my obscure equivocation was only meant to 
ward off from him the idle curiosity and in- 
quiries which he had not yet given me formal 
instructions to gratify. 

" Years rolled on without his appearance or 
any communication from him. My original 
conjectures as to his character, and hopes of 
investing myself with the estate, grew every 
day stronger. And a letter at last came from 
my London legal friend which made me almost 
certain. He had inquired at the address first 
supplied by Redmond Velasquez, and the pro- 
prietors of the house threw much question on 
that individual. No one in London knew him 
or his followers; the house which had drawn 
the bills forwarded to me, received value in raw 
bullion, at his own hands ; he had left his lodg- 
ings with a promise to return, which he had 
never fulfilled ; much valuable property re- 
mained unclaimed behind him ; and, most im- 
portant of all, a few weeks after his departure, 
officers of justice had been inquiring about him, 
or some of his companions. 

u From the first, my mind was embarrassed 

VOL. III. m 



248 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

with respect to the child he had left in my 
charge. Justice, and justice even to my own 
feelings and conscience, required that I should 
bring up the boy well, and destine him to enjoy 
a part, at least, of the wealth acquired by his 
reputed father. But I could never acquaint 
him with his real claim, because I should then 
run the risk of being by him deprived of the 
portion I reserved for myself. While deeply 
considering the question, about three years after 
he was placed in my hands I married ; became 
the father of a daughter ; and now I thought I 
saw a pleasing future prospect of doing him 
full justice, and, at the same time, of protect- 
ing my own interests. I supposed it natural 
that he and my child, brought up together, in 
the same house, would form a youthful attach- 
ment which might end in their union ; and thus 
he would eventually possess the whole estate, 
*nd, until my death, I should enjoy it with him. 
As the children grew up, my views seemed 
to prosper. When old enough to understand 
the nature of a mutual passion, I saw that 
they loved each other. Redmond, at nineteen 
years, paid to his young companion every atten- 
tion likely to subdue her heart, and it was evi- 
dent that he succeeded to a degree which made 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 24S 

all her hopes of happiness in this life dependent 
upon him. And now I draw to a close. He 
has left my house without an adequate reason, 
just at the moment I contemplated his hap- 
piness. Occasionally, indeed, I thought it my 
' duty to urge him to studies necessary for the 
proper formation of his mind, and for the due 
support of the rank and place he would be called 
to fill ; but surely that was not an adequate 
reason ; and, upon the night he disappeared, he 
provoked me, by, he will admit, wherever he 
is, very cruel treatment, to make an allusion to 
the fact of his mysterious parentage which, while 
I am very sorry for it, could not warrant his 
elopement, either. If the person who addresses 
me has any real interest in the lad, and if he 
knows what has become of him, let Redmond 
be advised to return to my house — to his own 
house — and that will be a better course. I may, 
indeed, be dispossessed of the estate ; but that 
cannot happen in a very short time ; and before 
it happens, the statute of limitations may come 
into effect, in my favour, and the law of the 
land continue me in the property I have so long 
held without a question. 

Or, if, as from the first I suspected, a stains, 
rests on his parentage, which it will not be for his 

m 2 



244 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

honour or happiness to have known, there is no 
conduct so prudent for him to pursue, as that 
which I advise. It is evident that the persons 
now around me have a sincere interest in his wel- 
fare, and therefore they will keep the secret which 
they seem previously to have known, or of which 
my statement puts them in possession ; I will 
keep it, as evidently, for my own sake ; and so, 
Redmond has only to form an alliance to which 
he has made honourable advances, and which, 
every thing else apart, involves the happiness, 
perhaps the life, of an ingenuous girl, and the 
feelings of an affectionate father, and then keep 
his own secret, too, and all will lje well. 

I speak as much for him as for myself, or for 
the young lady whose cause he has compelled 
me, however reluctantly or painfully, to advocate. 
And if friends or relations are at last arrived to 
urge his claim, perhaps I speak with a view to 
their credit and advantage also. Certainly, no 
good can arise to any one from unnecessary 
exposure ; and I only wish Redmond himself 
were here, to witness, from my own lips, the sen- 
timents of sincere affection and anxiety I have 
always entertained towards him. I have done. 
What I have said is the truth, the whole truth, 
and nothing but the truth, as God can witness/' 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 245 



CHAPTER IX. 

There was a profound silence after Mr. 
Pratt had done speaking. But the groans, the 
sobs, and the hard breathings of Redmond 
might be heard in the pause ; and as well, in- 
deed, might they have been heard during the 
recital, which, at different stages affected him, 
now with wonder, now with anguish and de- 
spair. Nor is it to be supposed that, from such 
symptoms, a mind so acute as Mr. Pratt's, re- 
mained long in doubt of the presence of his 
ward. In fact, he recognised his very breath- 
ing, the first moment it became audible from 
emotion, and all along had told his story and 
made his remarks under the certainty that Red- 
mond was listening. 

Perhaps the reader has already suspected as 
much, from the seemingly generous kind of self- 
accusation, and the superfluous humility, rather 



£46 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

out of keeping with Mr. Pratt's character, which 
occasionally insinuated itself into his manner of 
telling his story ; and his concluding sentiments 
and exhortation may have more particularly 
suggested the idea. 

During the statement, Cushneiche had never 
once forgotten to appeal by signs for Redmond's 
acknowledgment of a previous acquaintance with 
the facts, as they occurred. Now, he was the 
first to move, after Mr. Pratt remained some 
time silent Preserving his heavy stride, he 
walked to the mouth of the retreat, beckon- 
ing Redmond to attend him. The unhappy 
youth, showing by his features and gesticula- 
tion the most lively agony of mind, follow- 
ed. They walked aside some distance from 
the den. 

" Well, ma-bouchal, did I tell you any thing 
that wasn't the thruth ?" 

46 No, no ; your story and your claim are but 
too true and certain." 

" And what man but the man Pratt calls 
Redmond Velasquez, could give you the know- 
ledge aforehand, of all that passed between the 
both, from first to last ?" 

" I admit it — I admit it fully. Go on." 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 247 

" And now, is there any notion come into 
your poor head of what you 're goin' to do ?" 

" Die, die !" answered Redmond, groaning 
miserably ; " I have nothing to do but die." 

" Huth ; you 're as good as two dead men, 
yet. Will you be said by me ?" 

" Say any thing you like." 

" Take Pratt's advice then." 

" How ?" 

" Make up to the poor colleen you coaxed so 
long." 

" That 's a mistake ; a mistake very disho- 
nouring to me. I never paid the explicit atten- 
tions he speaks of ; I never wished to pay them, 
and it is impossible the young lady can have 
misunderstood me to the extent he says she 
has." 

" Whisht, Redmond; they 're soft, wake poor 
cratures, you know, an' a little o' the smooth 
tongue, from a likely gor^oon, goes far with 
them ; the colleen thinks you meant to be sweet 
on her, an' so, you bothered her, that 's all, 
whichever way you wanted it to be; — sure 
there 's many a way of killin' a dog besides hang- 
in 9 him. Look at the matther agin. The ould 
attorney spakes rason. It's the best coorse." 



848 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Best or worst, it can never be mine. I do 
not and, never will, never can regard the young 
lady in such a light.*" 

" Not if her heart is broke with your puttin' 
your comether* on her, is it ? Is that what you 
say, Redmond a-vich ?" 

Redmond only shut his eyes and groaned again. 

" It 's the best way, I tell you. An* Red- 
mond, none of us can afford to be found out ; 
an' as I said afore, an' all along, never fear me ; 
I'll dhraw far off from you, where you can send 
me sonjethin' for the bit and the sup, and where 
ril get the priest, an' ax God's }iardon for my 
past life, every day he spares me, from this out, 
an' never come next or near you ; an' Pratt, as 
he tould you himself, 'ill hould his whisht for 
his own sake. But come into him again. 
It 's on my mind to throuble him wid another 
word." 

They returned, and Cushneiche, resuming his 
broken English, again addressed Mr. Pratt : 

" You said in the beginning you believed you 
knew who was speaking to you. You said af- 
terwards you believed the speech and the voice 
were like ; now, tell the truth still ; who am I 
that stand before you ?" 

* Earnest addresses. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 249 

u From every circumstance, I can conclude 
you are no other than the man who called him- 
self, when twenty years ago we met, Redmond 
Velasquez : your apparently intimate know* 
ledge of things, which only he and I could 
know, is my- strongest reason for the pre- 
sumption." 

" Well, then ; what have you done with the 
title-deeds you before refused to give up ? v * 

<c They are safe in my house." 

" Secured, you think, in an iron box, which 
is chained and locked to the floor of a closet, in- 
side your bed-room ? n 

** How do you know that ? w abruptly de- 
manded Mr. Pratt, in alarm. 

" I will tell the truth, too. I went with a 
few friends to lpok for them, before you were 
brought here, this evening; and not finding 
them in any of your drawers, desks, or lockers, 
I thought it was likely you might have them 
in that strong box. But do you know that 
they are to be got in it now ?" 

" Villain r exclaimed Pratt, thrown off his 
guard, by interpreting this statement and ques- 
tion further than the speaker really had intend- 
ed — " and you, Redmond Redmond, for I 
know you listen to me — villains, both, have a 

m 5 



250 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

care what you do ! — If these parchments have 
been robbed out of my house n 

" Your house, I ask you over again ?" — in- 
terrupted Cushneiche, in his own voice. _ 

" Ah r screamed Pratt — " there ! I know 
you now, at least, and perceive my advantage 
over you ; — and by Heaven if * 

" None o* your gab," cried Yellow Sam, 
poking his pistol at the prisoner's head. 

" You dare not injure me, ruffian P' resumed 
Mr. Pratt — " you dare not take my life P* the 
prospect of the loss of the title-deeds made him 
rash and frantic — "or even, were you in- 
clined, there is one among you — Redmond ! 
Redmond, will you see me murdered ?" 

He tore the bandage off his eyes, and saw, 
indeed, Redmond and Cushneiche before him, 
while Yellow Sam was his only guard, and 
along with them, the only witness of his im- 
portant admissions, although he had thought 
that three or four fellows surrounded him. 

" Gf me the word, captain," said Sam. 

"Stop, stop!" exclaimed Redmond, as he 
sprang forward, and knocked the pistol out of 
his hand. It went off as it fell, and had scarce- 
ly exploded, when another shot seemed to an- 
swer it at a distance. 



PETER 01* THE CASTLE. 251 

" What the duoul is that ?" asked Cushneiche. 

t€ One o' the cruizers givin 1 us back our own 
signal,*" answered Sam, whose great coat was now 
thrown by, allowing to be seen his sailor's dress. 

" Givin' us a signal, it may be," resumed 
Cushnieche, " but one of another kind— yes, by 
the blessed light ! — here comes our boys.™ 

Persons were heard running through the 
retreat, which, so far as Mr. Pratt could now 
discern, was an arched passage, partially light- 
ed by a rude lamp suspended over the spot 
where he stood, both extremities gradually fad- 
ing into darkness : still he was at fault as to 
where it could be situated. 

" Make off ! run for your lives !" cried the 
three or four men who rushed in — " here 's the 
sodgiers from * 

" What side are they comirf from ?" briskly, 
and with an air of courageous self-possession, 
questioned Cushneiche. 

" Sthraight for the ould house/ he was an- 
swered. 

" Did ye hape the stones agin the mouth o' 
the place V 

" There was no time— they cum hot on us." 

** Two o' ye down with the bresna, at the 
other end ; then*— lowering his voice as he ' 



252 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

heard his enemies approaching through the 
darkened passage — " down with bough and 
branch — run, or my curse on ye!" they dis- 
appeared — " an' here, ye two hoise this good 
gintleman up, an* folly where Sam 'ill coax ye; 
asy, Misther Pratt, an' don't vex men in a 
hurry-^asy, all, an* mind the work — Redmond, 
a-vich, stick by me, an' handle this"— giving a 
pistol. 

Wretched man !" answered Redmond, dash- 
ing it to the ground : " do you so soon expect 
me to train myself to your ways ? Begone, 
and save your miserable life ; I stand here 
hoping the first bullet may end mine.'" 

" Headsthrong gawk o' the duoul !" retorted 
Cushneiche, stamping in one of the fierce and 
sharp fits that were habitual to him : a do you 
think betther men than yourself is to venthre 
neck an' breath for one that won't stir hand or 
foot to take his own part ? off with you, afther 
Sam,— off. with you, or ma curp on duoul! 

I '11 Hell's fire ! What's the matther, there 

below, Yallow Sam ?" as the person he address- 
ed, together with Mr. Pratt and his conduc- 
tors, hastily returned to the spot on which he 
and Redmond were disputing. 

" Boarded, captain," replied Sam ; w an* Me- 



PETEK OF THE CASTLE. 253 

lay an' Ryan nabbed as they stept from the 
gang-way." 

" How 's that ? who nabbed 'em ?" 

" More o' the marines, at this end." 

" Are they in yet ? quick an* tell me. v 

" Not yet" 

" Then, a bould part — hauld silence an' fol- 
ly me." With his left hand he presented a 
pistol, and grasped a hanger in the other, and 
he, and his three men faced in the direction 
whence Sam had just appeared. After, a few 
steps they all became invisible in the gloom. 
Redmond and Mr. Pratt continued under the 
lamp, the former with his arms folded, in an 
attitude of reckless despair ; the other anx- 
iously listening. There was a single shot, soon 
returned by a volley, that roared in echoes 
through the vault, and a moment after, Cush- 
neiche, Sam, and one of the men, ran back. 

" Dhar Dieu ! they have it this bout, ,J said 
Cushneiche, " they war too far in upon us — 
Bulger is down." 

" Down — " added Yellow Sam, "an* dead 
as could lead can make him." 

" An* whisht ! — here *s more o* them, dosin' 
on the other side of us — " continued Cush- 
neiche, as the noise of men and arms sounded at 



£54 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

the end of the vault by which Mr. Pratt had 
entered. Nearly at the same instant, a body of 
soldiers appeared, the officer at their head cry- 
ing out — " Surrender, or no quarter ." The old 
robber hastily turned upon the new comers one 
savage glance of baffled courage and desperation, 
while his lips, parting from his set teeth, gave 
such a brindling grin as the bull-dog is noted 
for, and then hurling his hanger upon the pistol 
Redmond had cast on the straw beneath their 
feet, said — " Now, ma-bouchal, you have your 
will for the two of us — an' I wish you joy of the 
neck-stock youll wear the next market-day ;" 
and he stood for the soldiers. 

" I will believe you think I am obliged for 
this timely service, Lieutenant Noble," said Mr. 
Pratt, extending his hand to the officer, to whom 
he was known — " who led you on ? n 

" A servant or follower of yours, I believe, 
Mr. Pratt; a long-legged, wavering figure of 
a fellow, with a face the colour of my coat ; 
and the sheerest coward, notwithstanding, un- 
hanged, this moment." 

" You must mean Cotteril — where is he ?" 

" Where is he ? — skulking in some hiding- 
hole of the old ruin abroad ; he ran back at the 



PF.TKB OF THE CASTLE. 265 

first flash of powder ; perhaps the pause in 
affairs may give him courage to crawl out." 

Two shots, in quick succession, interrupted 
the officer, who faced round, and prepared his 
men for a new rencounter. Cuahneiche listened . 
attentively. Mr. Pratt grew pale. The rever- 
beration of the shots had not died away, when 
the clashing of a sword, accompanied by a voice 
which Mr. Pratt recognized as that of his faith- 
. ful Billy Cotteril, took up the echo. 

" Folly afther me, sodgiers — never venthre, 
never win ! — little harum is done on me, though 
the bullets came near enough — an' what's the 
matther about ten Bill Cottherils, for the sake 
o' the poor masther — folly afther me, sodgier- 
lioys — we'll gain the day, somehow, or some- 
way— Chrosh-a-chreesthn V as he made his ap- 
pearance flourishing a naked sword round his 
head — " how did ye come for to get afore me, 
sodgiers?" 

" Who fired the shots, you amusing pol- 
troon ?" demanded the officer. 

" There was three — maybe more, somehow, 
but three for sart'n — three desperate roolachi * 

* Wicked looking fellows. 



856 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

iv 'em— an' they war set upon bein* the death o' 
poor Bill Cottheril— only we didn't let 'em, 
somehow, or someway :" while he spoke,, he 
pulled off his hat, and holding it up to the 
light, with a smiling — " ha — faiks it's we have 
the, loock on our side," exhibited two bullet 
holes in the crown. 

" Where did you meet the men that fired at 
you ?" continued Lieutenant Noble. 

" Arragh, Sir, he fired the shots, himself ," 
said Cushneiche ; " you 'd hear the bawls out of 
him, for a good mile o' ground, if a gbr^oon 
only showed him the mouth of a quart bottle : 
he 'd lose six inches of his ungainly hoith if a 
farh-breeacha* only wagged the caubeen at him, 
in a blast o* wind— see here — " dexterously 
snatching a pistol from the champion's breast, "it 
isn't long sence this gave a bark, any how ;" and 
the officer, examining the pistol, ascertained, in- 
deed, that it bore the marks of recent explosion. 

" A civil, quite, asy kind iv a life, is a good 
kind iv a life to lade, masther Cushneiche," 
said Cotteril, moving off from the robber to- 
wards his master. 

* Liar— The scare-crow set up in a corn-field. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. £57 

" Where ate we, at present, Cotteril ?" asked 
Mr. Pratt. 

" Td be bould to say there was onct a power 
tf good licqer haped up in this undher-ground 
place, here, when the Graces lived in their 
glory," answered Cotteril. 

" How did you discover the haunt f 

" Avoch, someway or somehow. There was 
a boy we know, an 1 he had the knowledge iv a 
boy o' the Bulgers ; an' the boy we know, spa- 
kin' somehow wid Thady Bulger on one thing 
or another, put in that he could bring him to a 
body 'ud give him the honest worth for ould 
watches, or ould silver plates, or ould silver 
moogs, or things o' the sort; an' a bargain was 
sthruck ; an' Thady went bis road for the little 
matthers : an 1 there was a body afther him that 
went along, quite an 1 asy, afther a manner he 
has, an' he seen Thady comin* an' gora' ; an' so 
Bill Cottherill cum to a knowledge, someway or 
somehow." 

" The duoul mend Bulger, then," whispered 
Cushneiche to Yellow Sam. 

" He arned the worth o' the bullet," assented 
Sam. 

" Let us dispatch our business," said Lieu- 



£58 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

tenant Noble. " Have we a prisoner here, 
Mr. Pratt ?" glancing to where Redmond stood, 
his arms still folded, and his face and air 
betokening the dogged indifference he really 
felt : " have we any prisoner here, after his 
excellency, Cushneiche, the fellows abroad with 
the sergeant, and these two others ?" 

Mr. Pratt was silent ; but a glance passed 
between him and Cotteril, who answered, 

" Avoch, Captain, sure Masther Redmond, 
there, must be caged, too ; I'll gf you an honest 
oath, plump, — an' Bill Cottheril wouldn't hurt 
his poor sowl for a threasure o' goold — " 

" For never a laffina undher a crown piece," 
interrupted Cushneiche. 

" I "*11 gi' you my oath, plump, that he 's at 
the head of all that cum acrass us, someway or 
somehow : I '11 swear out, clane, on the green 
cloth, I seen him, a week agone, cullodgirC wid 
Cvishneiche on the top o' the first hill, outside 
o' the house ; and I '11 give the honest, civil 
oath, agin, that they turned off as thick as 
any gossips, together, an' is livin' together, af- 

ther a manner ever sence like Sodgiers P 

interrupting himself, and making a long stride 
in among them, as Cushneiche, with a—" Stand 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 369 

out o* the way, you ballour !" seized him by 
the arm, and twisted him aside. 

From all that had lately passed between his 
master and him, as well as from the signal just 
given, Mr. Cotteril believed it his business to in- 
volve Redmond in as much danger as possible. 

" What do you say, Mr. Pratt ?" asked the 
officer. The person he addressed, started from 
a reverie, and then seemed to answer by turn- 
ing to his ward. 

. " First, Redmond, let the plunder of the 
strong-box be given up." 

" I know nothing of it," replied Redmond. 
" Npr I, either," added Cushneiche ; " that 
was all a notion o' your own makin\ v 

" Is it the sthrong-box you 're afeard about, 
masther ?" asked Cotteril ; " praise be to God, 
that 's safe an' sound, any how : they thried 
their best to break it open, or lift it, bud they 
were forced to let it alone, afther a manner ; 
jist as if a body found a mare's nest, or caught 
a hault iv a Tarthar, someway or somehow." 

•' Are you sure this is true, Cotteril ?" asked 
Mr. Pratt, advancing close, and speaking in a 
whisper to his prime minister : " have you seen 
it safe, after them ?* 



260 FETE* OF THE CASTLE. 

" Wid my two rasonable eyes, plase your ho- 
nour, that 's not used to be makin' mistakes, 
any how." 

" Go on with your charges against him, not- 
withstanding/ continued Mr. Pratt, in a close 
whisper: " insist — whatever I say— -on having 
him arrested ;" and Mr. Pratt walked away. 

Mr. Cotteril, fully taking his cue, turned the 
tobacco quid in his cheek, gave a preparatory 
emission, looked virtuously determined, stretch- 
ed out one leg, and with the point of his sword, 
(the weapon could not have been in more harm- 
less hands) in lieu of his usual appendage, the 
switch, began to scrape together the straws and 
rushes that strewed the floor of the vault. 

" Bill Cottheril had always an 9 ever the ka- 
racther to be honest, an* quite, an* asy ; an' it's 
a way wid him to have more likin' for ho- 
nest doins', an' for fair dalins', than for the bit 
an 9 the sup ; an' so, masther, I can't be led 
or said by you : an* when I only do what 's 
right an' honest, little fear, plase God, bud 
some other 'ill gi' me mate an' dhrink, an' the 
manes iv honest livin' : an' for the same rason, 
Captain, afther a manner, you '11 saze upon our 
poor slob, masther Redmond ; there 's a fair 
oath for id." 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 261 

" I will make you smart for refusing my 
earnest request," said Mr. Pratt ; " this is in- 
solent and ungrateful. 1 ' 

" Och, there's no help for id, any how or 
any way ; we must see right done, whatever 
comes acrass poor Bill Cottheril." 

" Does this determine my course of duty, 
Mr. Pratt ?" continued the officer. 
- " You shall judge for yourself, Sir," an- 
swered Pratt; "but if I had my will here, it 
should not be so." 

Lieutenant Noble advanced to Redmond. 

" I am sorry, Mr. Redmond, for old ac- 
quaintance sake, that this becomes my duty." 

" Mind your duty, Sir, and mind me only as 
far as your duty concerns me," said Redmond, 
proudly and savagely. 

'* Bind the other prisoners, and lodge them 
in the gaol at ," resumed the Lieutenant. 

" But surely, Sir, this youth may accom- 
pany you thither without undergoing such an 
indignity ?" pleaded Mr. Pratt. 

" It was my intention that he should, Sir." 

" I will accept no paltry obligation at one 
side or the other, good gentlemen," said Red- 
. mond ; " I want it not, I despise it ; bind me ;" 
stretching out his arms. 



S62 PETE* OF THE CASTLE. 



a 



The tyin' iv him 11 make him go more 
quite an' asy, afther a manner," exhorted Cot* 
teril. 

" Silence, fellow," cried the officer sternly, 
" or — let me see what my duty permits me to 
do with you — I will set you to guard your 
little friend, Cushneiche, alone, and leave Mm 
unbound to give your zeal fair play." 

" Why then only do that, Sir, in jest or 
arnest," said Cushneiche with a grim smile, as 
the soldiers tied his arms behind his back, 
" an' whatever happens on the road, by the 
sowl o' my father, 1 11 never thry to gi* ye the 
slip — only," fixing a glance on Cotteril, " a 
body may 's well be hanged for a sheep as a 
lamb." 

" We Ve too quite an* asy in oursefs, for a 
thing o* the sort," demurred Cotteril, skulking 
into the back-ground. 

In a short time all left the retreat, and still 
in the dark of the February morning, moved 

for the town of- . Mr. Pratt now knew 

that he had been led into the ruins of an old 
mansion, formerly belonging to a branch of a 
noble family of the country, whose estate fell 
to the crown, during the last civil wars. It was 
not far from the river over which he had at 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. " 268 

first been borne, and he perceived that the 
fording of a second stream, and Cushneiche's 
allusions to the circumstance, were but a ruse, 
in conjunction with their turning and twining, 
to baffle his calculation of his real situation. 
In fact, he had twice crossed the same current. 

While Cushneiche and his followers were 
guarded by the soldiers in a body, Redmond 
was allowed to walk on singly, under the charge 
of the sergeant and one file. Having gained, 
ascending from the river-side, the road which 
led, in one direction, to their place of desti- 
nation, and, in another, through the village, to 
Mr. Pratt's house, that gentleman paused and 
advanced to Redmond. 

" I need not say how this affects me, Red- 
mond," he began ; " but do not be too much 
cast down ; we must now part— it is absolutely 
necessary, in order that Ellen's fears may be 
soothed by my appearance at home ; but I will 
visit you in the course of the day, and, not- 
withstanding the imprudent obstinacy of this 
ungrateful scoundrel, Cotteril, see what is to 
be done ; 'till then, at all events, the committals 
shall not be made out ; the magistrates are my 
friends ; farewell for a while, Redmond." 

He extended his hand. Redmond, motioning 



264 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

to his guards, walked on in silence. Mr. Pratt, 
with a heavy sigh, turned homeward. Cotteril 
attended the party. 

. An hour s march brought them before the 
gaol door, in the main street of the town. Still 
the morning had not broke, and the street was as 
silent as the grave, but for the echoing of their 
own tramp through it Cotteril and the ser- 
geant knocked loud and long before the gao- 
ler was roused to attend at the barred entrance. 
With continued zeal, and a few brief and im- 
portant words of explanation, Cotteril mono- 
polized the duty of giving the prisoners in 
charge. The gaoler stared in surprise, when he 
saw Redmond handed over to his care; and 
now Cotteril looked more important, and catch- 
ing the man's eye, as he rubbed all over his 
chin with the palm of his hand, gave one or 
two mysterious yet emphatic nods, as much as 
to say — " all right, I assure you, whatever you 
may think." 

a Gaoler," said Lieutenant Noble, as Redmond 
passed the grated door — " I will be your au- 
thority for any particular attention you can 
show this poor young gentleman." 

" Gaoler," growled Redmond, " let me be 
treated exactly as my companions are ; I am 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 265 

as guilty as they ; and whatever they deserve, 
I deserve." 

" It 's a thruth he tells you, an* be said 
by him," observed Cotteril, as he withdrew 
after the officers and soldiers, and as the gaoler, 
with a professional twist, shot the first lock on 
his prisoners. 

Until proper apartments could be provided 
for each, Redmond, Cushneiclie, and Yellow 
Sam were ushered into the gaoler's parlour, and 
their three companions into another room ; and 
the man went to make his arrangements. Red- 
mond dropped into the first seat he met, and 
tearing open his coat and vest, as if instinctively 
to seek a little relief for his stuffed bosom, 
leaned his elbows on a rude table, and hid his 
face with his hands. , Yellow Sam lounged to the 
recess of the window, and seating himself at his 
ease, turned sideways to look out at the sentinel, 
who was pacing up and down before the en- 
trance. Cushneiche stood opposite to Redmond, 
attentively regarding him. 

After a pause, " All 's not lost yet, Redmond," 
he said, " if you folly the biddin* I gave you." 
The young man remained silent. 

Cushneiche continued in an angry and bitter 
tone — " D'you hear me, man, with your black 

TOL. III. n 



266 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

mop of a head doin' nothin' there, on your two 
big claws o' hands ? Will you rouse yourself, 
I say, while there's a minute left for the word 
that 's to save or bang us all ? Give an ear, I 
tell you, to the ould attorney an' to me, that has 
the right to command you, in this purty pickle, 
at laste, an* you can yet save yourself, an' us 
that you brought here along with you ;— if you 
Bet him at his best, an 9 that he has nothin' for 
it but to take care of himself, are you sich an 
ownshuck as to think he'll let us out o' this 
little cage to go to law with him ? Gallows 
end to the heed the boy takes o' me. — Shake 
yourself, I bid you again!" continued Cush- 
neiche, smartly slapping him on the shoulder. 
Redmond leaped up. • ■ , . 

"Do not touch me!" he cried — "let us die 
without a touch, as we have lived. And you 
talk to me of life, after this ? of an estate, and 
wealth, and rank, and a marriage ? And you 
suppose— but yes, y&u can suppose it." 

" Suppose what ?" asked Cushneiche, slowly 
advancing to Redmond, his brows knitted, and 
his glance earnestly fixed on the youth's open 
bosom — " an* this," snatching at the locket, 
that since his visit to Philip's old castle hung 
round Redmond's neck—" this, along with it- — 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 267 

what am I to suppose about this ? In the name 
o* the blessed saints in heaven, where did you 
get this, gorcoon ? Tell me the thruth, an 1 
tell it in a word, for I hear the gaoler comin', 
an' there 's only a breath left for life an 1 death, 
an 1 for wondhers greater than life or death can 
clear up — spake, I say f where did you get it ? 
It 's the second time I axed you about a keep; 
sake, an 1 the second manes mote than the first : 
let me look closer at it" As he held the locket 
at the length of the chain, Cushneiche, much 
agitated, caught Up a candle and ri vetted his 
eyes on the trinket: — « By the wide world it 's 
the very one f Sam, come here and look at 
this !" Sam rose indifferently from his observa- 
tions at the window, but when he had gained 
a glance at the article Cushneiche held out to 
his inspection, his manner suddenly changed 
into that of some wonder and interest "Do 
you know it P" continued Cushneiche — "did 
you ever see it afore ? 

" Did I ever see any thing afore? wasn't it 
my own hands that tuck it from him ?" 

** Him ! who ?" — demanded Redmond, at 

last rousing himself from the surprize and the 

struggle of the thousand hopes and conjectures 

that vaguely and darkly sprung up in his bo- 

N X 



5268 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

som — " what do ye mean ? who was its owner ? 
have I any concern with who or what he was ? n 

" Answer us, before we answer you, man !" 
continued Cushneiche, his impatience increasing 
— " I hear the step in the passage — hell's fire ! 
why don't you say where you got it ?* 

" Go, when you can, to one of the old castles 
we passed this morning, by the river-side, and 
there you will find the man in whose possession 
I found it." 

" Do you mane the man they call Padhre- 
na-Moulh?" 

" Yes, and in the secret place I got this 
trinket, there were other things that would, 
perhaps, have more surprized you." 

" What things ? spake ! quick, quick !" 

" Pistols, a sea-dirk, a hoard of gold and 
silver." 

" That 's himself, Sam !" interrupted Cush- 
neiche, slapping the table—" he 's to the fore, 
yet!" 

" An' we thinkin' him well hanged these 
score years," added Sam in a tone of deep won- 
derment, as the gaoler unlocked the parlour- 
door. 

" Now, Masther Cushneiche, an' now Mas- 
ther Yallow Sam, every convaniency is ready, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 269 

wid our sarvice to you,'' said the man, advanc- 
ing, followed by two sturdy helpers, each of 
whom held a pair of bolts and handcuffs. 

" Wait a moment," said Redmond, " only a 
moment, good fellow ; I have to speak a parting 
word with these men — " 

" Never a moment ; an' never a word, Mas- 
ther Redmond ; it's clane against the rule o' the 
house; and more betoken, them an' you has 
words enough already, an' too many, the neigh- 
bours tell me, for your good — so quick wid the 
mittins an' the spanshels, boys," to the turn- 
keys, who seemed to require no stimulus in 
expediting the work they had already taken 
kindly in hand. 

" Say whatever you have to say aloud, Cush- 
neiche," cried Redmond, vehemently — ",one 
word will be a relief to me — am I concerned in 
this discovery ?" 

" Boats'n," said Cushneiche, handing some- 
thing to the gaoler, " you may 's well not re- 
fuse me a pig's whisper with the poor young 
gintleman" — and encouraged by the benevolent 
grin with which the bribe was put up, he shuf- 
fled in his bolts to Redmond, and said at his 
ear — " vou 11 hear more of it an* me afore 
there .'s much danger ; I don't value these bits 



270 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

o' spanshells no more than a twist o' sthraw ; nor 
Sam either ; we ever an' always go provided 
agin them ; an' as for the ricketty ould cage 
itself, a yexed linnet could peck his way out of 
it — so hould a brave heart, ma-bouchel. When 
you see Pratt, in the coorse o' the day, jest be 
said an' led by him, if it was only to throw 
dust in his eyes, now" — laying peculiar em- 
phasis on the last word : " an' so, God speed 
you !— I can say no more till we meet again." 
He turned away — " Thankee, boats'n, an* here 
we go for your other convaniencies." Before 
Redmond could urge a word, he was locked up, 
alone, in the parlour. 

To prevent, perhaps, disagreeable interrup- 
tion in another place, it shall here be noticed 
how far Cushneiche was able to keep some of 
the promises he had held out to Redmond at 
parting. 

About three o'clock, the same day, the gaol- 
er's wife went out into the garden to cut a few 
cabbages, as an accompaniment to the piece of 
corned beef, which for some time had been sim- 
mering on the kitchen fire ; and all good Irish 
cooks are aware, that it should have been so 
simmering for some time before the vegetables 
were put in to boil along with it. .The garden 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 271 

lay outside the high bounding wall of the gaol, 
enclosed by its own lower walls. A capacious 
sewer, running under the gaol-yard, and under 
the foundations of the gaol wall, passed beneath 
it : but of this the good woman was not aware. 
Waddling between two rows of her flourishing 
cabbages, picking her steps through the over 
moist soil, and having her garments tucked and 
pinned up to save them from the heavy drops 
she brushed down at every step, the unsuspect- 
ing gouvernante had already decapitated two 
plump heads of " early Dutch," when, fixing 
her eye upon a third, just at her feet, she 
thought it moved. Startled, she drew back a 
little, keeping her glance on the charmed head 
of cabbage; became convinced it was self-agi- 
tated, and grew stupified with fright; but her 
consternation did not gain a climax until it ac- 
tually jumped about the trench, and until ano- 
ther head, of a different kind, popped up into 
its place, and, the mouth sputtering forth clay, 
opened its keen grey eyes and fixed them upon 
hers. Without power to utter a cry significant 
of her alarm, the terrified dame dropped senseless 
where she stood, her heavy fall and considerable 
bulk of person doing some injury among the 
much-prized vegetables around her ; and it was 



i 



272 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

only when her husband, growing impatient for 
his dinner, and finding the beef left boiling 
away in the pot, came out to look after her, 
that she recovered in his arms, and could 
vent her heart in hysteric screams, accompa- 
nied by a few incoherent words of explanation. 
Those few words were sufficient, however, to 
indicate to the old man-trap keeper the real 
cause of her fright. Leaving her, with a mut- 
tered curse, to take care of herself, he hasten- 
ed back to bis citadel, descended to the dun- 
geon, in which his own hand had locked up 
Cushneiche and Yellow Sam, and found it 
empty ; and pieces of broken plaster, scattered 
under the lowest part of the low garden wall, 
afterwards assured him that during his wife's 
swoon the fugitives had not remained forget- 
ful of the completion of their purpose. 

" The little saws an* the files that cut them 
boults," soliloquised the sad and discomfited 
gaoler, as he contemplated the articles he spoke 
of, on the floor of the cell — " war hid in the 
soles o' the brogues the raps had on 'em ; for we 
sarched all over their bodies well, not forget- 
ting a peep into the brogues themselves; and 
here/' he continued, when he returned to the 
garden wall — " here 's the spot where the two 
ould mast-climbers got over, in no time." 



PETEE OF XHE CASTLE. 278 



CHAPTER X. 






About half an hour after Redmond had been 
left alofie in the parlour, the proprietor returned 
to conduct him to his more regular quarters. 
Whether influenced by Lieutenant Noble's re- 
quest, or by his own feelings, the man did not 
doom his young prisoner to such a cell as had 
been allotted to Cushneiche and Yellow Sam. 
He introduced him, in fact, into the debtors' 
region of the prison, and with much self-flatter- 
ing eulogy of the comforts and respectability of 
the place, locked up Redmond in a low arched 
apartment, eight or nine feet square, and hav- 
ing a rough deal table and a ricketty chair, for 
its only furniture. 

Again the young maaflung himself into a chair 
by the table, and hid his face on his hands. It 
cannot be said that he thought ; the confusion 
of his mind did not allow of a process meriting 

n5 



274 PETE* OF THE CA8TLE. 

the name ; still all the poignant, and, indeed, 
wonderful views his situation presented, came 
in succession before him. It had been proved 
that he was the son of a mean and disgraced 
person, and all his hopes of life — life itself, were 
henceforth annihilated. They spoke to him of 
wealth to be obtained by accommodating himself 
to circumstances, and by a prudent plan of con. 
cealment; he trampled on that prospect. He 
would not accept existence on such terms. He 
would seek death in every shape, far away from 
Ireland, if, indeed, the present charges against 
him were not preferred to the death; and of 
this, although he could not pause to balance 
the reasons why,- he felt doubtful. Every thing 
was lost to him; Rosalie too — and at this 
thought it will not .seem surprising if, at his age, 
he suffered to escape him the. sorest groan, his 
reveries had called forth. 

What were the nature of the vague promises 
Cushneiche had held out to him at parting ?— 
what caused him to hold them out ? what meant 
the robber's agitation at the sight of the locket ? 
That was the real question. Had the trinket 
called up recurrences in which he was personally 
concerned ? or — and Redmond here brought to 
mind the comment of Yellow Sam upon the sup* 



PETJ4K OF THE CASTLE. 275 

posed fate of its original owner — had it merely 
reminded the freebooters of a comrade whom 
tbej had thought dead, and dead in shame and 
infamy P — Redmond started at the sudden asso- 
ciation his disarranged mind had not before per- 
fectly made, — Peter of the Castle was that 
former comrade. The hidden hoard, the wea- 
pons, confirmed this notion, even if Cushneiche's 
assertion could be doubted. And the mystery 
of Padhre's long life of seclusion and penance 
was now explained ; he had been overtaken by 
remorse iu the midst of his sinful careex, sub- 
mitted himself to the expiations prescribed by 
his church — perhaps added to them, himself— 
and withdrawn from the world, under a changed 
name, to make his peace with God. But how 
did all this concern Jiedmond ? For the hun- 
dredth time he held up the locket, and pored 
over the initials A. P. which were set in pearl 
and brilliants upon one side of it ; they sug.- 
gested no name of which he had ever heard ; 
they could not relate to him ; they indicated, 
perhaps, the name of some female to whom the 
hermit-robber had been attached in his youth ; 
he let the trinket drop out of his hand with 
indifference. Yet Pad h re's uniform interest in 
him again occurred to tantalize Redmond's 



276 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

mind; their last interview, too, and the other 
appointed interview for which the day was now 
near at hand : he wished he could once more 
see Padhre ; he wished he could keep that ap- 
pointment ; he would inform him of the proof 
of his parentage, so lately confirmed ; perhaps 
the step might lead to something, he knew not 
what; and Redmond groaned, and his brow 
flamed, as he ended in the conjecture that Pa- 
dhre's interest had only grown out of his having 
recognized him to be the son of the wretched 
man who now claimed him — the solitary's for- 
mer partner in crime. 

This started another supposed case : Padhre 
had early learned from Cushneiche himself, the 
secret of Redmonds connexion with Pratt ; and, 
to avoid exposure of the character of his miser- 
able parent, arid, indeed, of all the strange cir- 
cumstances Pratt had confessed, the hermit ad- 
vised his union with Pratt's daughter. — " Poor 
Ellen," sighed Redmond, as, for the first time, 
his mind calmly contemplated her in the view in 
which Padhre's assurances, and, afterwards, her 
father's own story, had placed her. Did she 
really love him as was said ? Love him to the 
injury of her happiness and life ? And must he 
blame his own attentions for her feelings ? His 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 277 

heart softened a little. Rosalie was lost for ever; 
he could not love Ellen as he loved Rosalie, or 
as Ellen loved him ; but, every other motive 
and consideration apart, did not honour and 

humanity call on him to No, no ! lie would 

not disgrace her, even to make her momentarily 
happy. Were his name and descent honour- 
able, he might, after a time, passively sacrifice 
his life to savie or cheer hers ; but she would 
not continue to love the son of an outlaw ; and 
he particularly shrunk from the subject, when 
he considered the alliance as one of prudence 
on his part ; as one that would ensure to him, 
without further exposure, the wealth his ban- 
dit-father had amassed, and of which, come what 
might, he determined never to share as much as 
would give him an hour's sustenance. 

His prison-door was unlocked, and Mr. Fe- 
nelly, the old Roman Catholic clergyman, ap- 
proached him. Redmond felt offended at an 
intrusion he thought could have been prompted 
by mere idle curiosity ; in a sullen mood, arose,* 
and after a slight bow, walked to the window. 

- * You think I have no right to visit you, my 
good young man," began the priest ; " but I 
think I have. You know I am intimately ac- 
quainted with a lady you are interested about/' 



278 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Redmond turned abruptly and looked his 
question. 

" I mean Miss D'Arnell, Sir ; you are aware 
that, being of my persuasion, and I being an 
old man, our friendship is particular. WeU, 
I come to speak a word to you from Miss D'Ar- 
nell. 

Redmond started to the only chair in the 
apartment, and placed it near the priest. 

" You threw yourself in her way last night, 
as she was riding home," continued Mr. Fe- 
nelly, " and, shocked her much with the confir- 
mation from your own lips, of a shocking story; 
and you added some allusions, and some ac- 
count of your feelings and actions, to which she 
could not reply at the time. But now she sends 
by me a return to the long farewell you made 
her, and is anxious to have me say, that, al- 
though you and she can never meet again,, she 
shall be deeply afflicted, as a former friend, to 
hear any accounts of your conduct in the present 
trying circumstances which may appear un- 
worthy of the mind and heart you inherited 
from the Giver of all good, and improved under 
liberal habits of education." 

" I am thankful to the lady, Sir, for the com- 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. £79 

pliment and for the good advice, and also for the 
doubt the good advice involves" 

" Make your own comments. But now, per- 
haps, you will kindly allow me to express my 
own sincere regrets for your sufferings, and a 
few of my own views in your regard: — pray 
hear me out In this second instance, I am not 
48o very officious as you may think, either. 
However strange it may sound, I am rather 
intimately concerned in all that concerns you. 
I can influence your fate. Do not stare at me, 
young man, in doubt or wonder ; I speak the 
words of truth ; and, if you live, you shall wit- 
ness that I do." 

u Go on, Sir. How can all this be ? You 
owe me an explanation, and in justice, honour, 
mercy, will give it at a word." 

*' Justice, honour, mercy, supply the precise 
reasons why I must not. Again I request you 
not to be impatient with an old man that really 
means you well, and deals in no juggling talk 
or tricks. Indeed, it was no part of my duty to 
have said even so much to you before; and so 
much you would never have heard from me, but 
for your present unexpected situation. But be- 
lieve me still in what I say. I have a great deal to 
do with you; and from a full knowledge of your 



280 PETE* OF THE CASTLE. 

prospects, I have a right to advise any step I 
may think for the best. Therefore, attend to 
me. You have won the affections of a most 
amiable young person ; her happiness is in your 
hands. Her father, I can learn, is not averse to 
the idea of your making her your wife ; your 
honour whispers that you should ; your interests, 
your safety command it. I, who am a judge of 
your interests, feel convinced you should not 
hesitate ; and, in fact, a greater question than 
any stated, than any you are yet aware of, a 
question connected with the lives and the good 
name of others — hangs upon your decision. — 
Farewell." 

The clergyman had moved to the door as he 
spoke the last words. " Think me no juggler, 
I repeat, and do not hastily reject my advice. 9 ' 
He withdrew. 

Redmond stood overwhelmed with surprise. 
Here was a new actor in the embarrassed scene 
he could not have dreamt of. Here was another 
individual linked with his fate — if, indeed, the 
priest's solemn assertions were true — between 
whom and himself no kind of connection had 
seemed possible. And here was this new- 
found friend recommending, along with all for- 
mer ones, a certain measure. He appeared to 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 281 

dream. His real existence appeared to have 
changed into something imaginary. These were 
not the every rday chances . of life ; perplexing 
'mystery surrounded him. But a recollection of 
one part of the priest's discourse aroused him 
to a bitter sense of reality. It was the message 
from Miss D'Arnell. Well ! they were separated 
for ever ; and the lady lost no time in confirming 
the fact. His proud nature boiled hjgh. For- 
getting all the good reasons that, at another 
time, he would have allowed, nay, that he had 
bimself submitted to her for her resolution, he 
could only feel he had been slightly treated; 
and he would show less of disappointment than, 
perhaps, was reckoned on ; — and here Ellen 
again strongly occurred, but merely as a me- 
dium of revenge upon Rosalie. 

Before he could farther proceed with his per- 
plexed reveries, the door again opened, and Mr. 
Pratt came into the room, looking sad and care- 
worn. Redmond's notice of him was strange ; he 
did not know in what manner to return his sa- 
lute. 

" I have staid away too long, Redmond," the 
gentleman began, (it was now past three o'clock 
in the afternoon,) " but I could not help it. Ellen 
was to have been quieted, the magistrates spoken 



282 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

with regarding the committals ; and, above all, 
that intemperate and ungrateful fellow, Cotte- 
ril, brought to task. But I am sorry to inform 
you, I seem to possess little influence over him 
in this serious matter. He persists in his deter- 
mination to prosecute." 

« Weil, be it so." 

" God forbid we should dismiss the subject 
so indifferently. God forbid I, at least, was so 
unnatural as to do so ! For, Redmond, apart 
from my sincere and unchanged good-will to 
you, a father's feelings give me an interest, an 
absorbing interest in it. Should any real evil 
Happen to you, my child— I must speak out, 
Redmond, though it appear indelicate — my be- 
loved child would not survive the blow." 

" I do not understand you, Sir." 

" Redmond, I am forced to be explicit. 
This moment, though she knows nothing of 
your present perilous situation, Ellen's fears on 
account erf your absence are sinking her into 
the grave. The love, the infatuation with 
which you have inspired her, could not remain 
hidden from a parent's eyes. And you know 
her tender constitution, you know — " 

" Mr. Pratt, do not utterlv distress me. I ' 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 283 

was, until your astonishing assertions, quite ig- 
norant of the great honour Ellen did me. I do 
not require to be now appealed to on the sub- 
ject ; its bare mention by you is sufficient for 
every purpose." 

" Well, then, Redmond, hear what I have 
to say. Although Cotteril is obstinate, and 
although it will cost me a great and peculiar 
effort and sacrifice to turn him from his course; 
yet, give me a competent motive and I will 
venture far to do it I cannot now explain the 
nature of the important steps that will here be 
necessary ; another time you shall know of 
them ; enough for me that I feel them to be 
important, and not to be taken except as a last 
resource; and enough for you that I repeat, 
supply me with the natural motive, and they 
shall be taken. 

" Allow me to be as explicit as you are, Mr 
Pratt. Supposing me to estimate as I ought, 
as any man ought, the honour your most amia- 
ble child confers on me; can I, consistent with 
manliness or fair-dealing, ask her to share the 
darkened lot that, no matter how long I live, 
must be mine ?" 

" She would share any lot with you, any 



384 PETER OP THE CASTLE. 

that awaits you ; although, unless you provoke 
it by your own obstinacy, Redmond, I see none 
she can consider questionable." 

" Does that intimate, sir, that Ellen may be- 
come my wife unaware of the disgrace of the 
recent discovery to which you are a witness ?™ 

" No, she is fully aware of the discovery you 
mean, only Ellen thinks it no disgrace to you. 11 
This was assertion merely ; Mr. Pratt had kept 
his daughter ignorant of all connected with 
Redmond, from the moment he left the house. 

" On the contrary, Redmond, she thinks, and 
truly thinks, that, passing by your unhappy 
father, I should be more disgraced by a public 
exposure of the details of the whole matter, 
than you can be. But there, for all our sakes, 
is the thing to be avoided. Look closer at the 
facts. If your father is prosecuted by your 
side, he will, in revenge or self-defence, expose 
the connexion between you and him, while 
making his accusations against me." 

" My God, my God ! rt groaned Redmond. 

" Although such accusations cannot save 
him — save his life — Redmond, nor alas >" 

" My life. Speak on, without considering 
that. ,, 

" Nor hers who " 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 285 

" It does not require argument, I repeat, 



sir." 



But, although indifferent to your own fate, 
and leaving Ellen's out of the question, surely, 
Redmond, the simple duty of snatching from a 

shameful end, your own father " continued 

Mr. Pratt, fully aware of the efficacy of press- 
ing this point as often and as home as possible, 
u surely . this alone will arouse you to some 
exertion." 

" Mr. Pratt," demanded Redmond, abruptly 
indulging an abrupt thought — u can you ima- 
gine what motive sent the old priest, Mr. 
Fenelly, to me this morning ?" 

" He visited you this morning, then ?" in a 
surprised tone; although the speaker was far 
from being surprised, inasmuch as the visit 
spoken of had arisen out of a conversation be- 
tween him and Mr. Fenelly, early that morn-, 
ing, when the clergyman called on Mr. Pratt to 
be informed of the cause of Redmond's incar- 
ceration, about which he felt greatly surprised 
and interested ; and Mr. Pratt had absolutely 
urged him to undertake the last topic we have 
heard him press on the youth's notice. 

Redmond satisfied Mr. Pratt's question ; and 
when with much solemnity that gentleman as- 



286 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

sured him he could not guess the priest's mo- 
tive, the young man continued. 

" Do not think, Sir, from my changing the 
subject, that I am indifferent to the fate of even 
such a parent as it has been the will of Heaven 
to give me. If I have not alluded to his situa- 
tion, it was because I dreaded to do so, not be- 
cause I forgot it." 

" Take him out of it, then, Redmond ; snatch 
him from a fate that must expose and destroy 
us all — free the wretched man of the irons that, 
while we speak, fetter him.^— We again interrupt 
Mr. Pratt to say that Cushneiche and Yellow 
Sam had escaped before he came to the gaol ; 
' that he had heard as much ; but that the per- 
sons around Redmond had received his strict 
injunctions not to inform the youth of the fact. 
" Come, Redmond ; rise up, and come with me, 
and all will be well;— why can you hesitate a 
moment to be led by one whose happiness and 
honour are bound up in yours ? Alas ! why did 
you ever hesitate to do so ? There began all our 
present troubles. You have not, you never 
had, Redmond, a cause to feel distrustful of me. 
If I suppressed the facts of your real parentage, 
what but a feeling for your future peace and 
respectability prompted me ? Now that, at your 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 287 

own seeking, you know them, were it not better 
they had remained unknown ? And look at my 
whole conduct towards you ; look at my care of 
you in school and college. Redmond, I do not 
attempt to deny that my penury, at the time 
I became only the agent to your great estate, 
suggested griping and dishonest thoughts ; for 
the toiling and needy, wealth has sore tempt- 
ations; and no doubt, so far as your un- 
happy parent was concerned, I sinfully in- 
dulged hopes and calculations unworthy of a 
Christian ; but human nature is weak, Red- 
mond. Perhaps, with my strong suspicions of 
the character of that man, and with the voice of 
the law and of justice rising up on my side 
against him, some extenuation may be allowed 
to my conduct ; — leaving it quite inexcusable, 
however, how has a single act or view of my life, 
for twenty years, injured you, Redmond ? I 
educated you as a gentleman. I treated you as 
one, From the hour my child was born, I des- 
tined you to possess every acre of the property ; 
when you left the house, I had not given up my 
intention ; it forms, at this moment, the great 
wish of my heart; come home with me, Red- 
mond ; — come to your own home ; — possess it, 
and enjoy it; — assume the rank and character 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

your considerable means ensure to you ; — we can 
so arrange, that the connection between you 
and the prisoner in his dungeon, under us, shall 
never be known ; — he is not disposed, I am sure, 
to aggrieve you ; — if his life be now saved, 
he will surely consent to live far awav from Ire- 
land, on your bounty." 

Redmond brought to mind, indeed, that 
Cushneiche had more than once proposed these 
very terms. — " The rumour that, above all 
others, makes you my nephew, may remain un- 
contradicted for ever ; and here, on your own 
estate— — v 

" Mr. Pratt," interrupted Redmond, " to 
part of your plan my mind is irrevocably averse. 
If, indeed, I am honoured, so far as you say, 
by the good opinion of your excellent daugh- 
ter, she and I shall never remain here to ex- 
pose ourselves even to the chance of disgrace. 
Some other country must be our future home. 
And further, the wealth you speak of as mine, 
I shall never accept ; enough that the blood of 
a common bandit runs in my veins; 1 shall 
never live and fatten upon his plunder ; — oh, 
God ! perhaps upon the product of orphans' and 
widows' tears, and the blood of my fellow-crea- 
tures. No, Sir ; I am young, and the world is 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 289 

open to me, as it has been to other men. I will 
go home with you on these terms, and on no 
other." 

" Well ; come home, with any exceptions 
;to the future that your present distressed feel- 
ings naturally take, dear Redmond. I cannot 
wonder to hear you utter some little vehe- 
mence and extravagance ; pardon ' me, and do 
not interrupt me : reflection and time may cause 
material changes of opinion. Give me your 
hand, and let me congratulate you on a new ancl 
closer tie betwixt us, and at the same moment, 
on your liberation from this place. If I solemni- 
ty pledge myself as security for your immedi- 
ate removal, the people here will at once let you 
come, until I can take my last measures with 
Cotteril, and again see the magistrates. Let. us 
hasten home, and conclude our private arrange- 
ments this very evening. Marriage articles will 
take little time to prepare, and less in the sign- 
ing. Come, my carriage is outside. To-mor- 
row morning we shall come back together, and 
free the other prisoners." 

He knocked at the door of the apartment. 
The gaoler appeared. He declared himself re- 
sponsible, as he had said he would do, for tak- 
ing Redmond away; and in a few minutes they 

VOL. III. o 



890 PBTKR OT THE CA6TLX. 

were seated together in Mr. Pratt's carriage, 
and driven rapidly out of the town. 

" Well," thought Redmond, " my course is 
begun, wherever it may lead ; my fate known 
for the present, however it may become fixed ; 
and shattered and darkened as is my mind, 
one little ray of gratification breaks in with the 
hope that even by sacrificing myself, unknown 
to her, I may promote the happiness of one of 
the gentlest of God's creatures. It will, indeed, 
be but a gloomy relief; for my own heart there 
is no hope of fire-side joy. It must brood over 
the past till it stupifies or breaks." 

Mr. Pratt had his reverie, too. " No wiser 
saying than that which teaches a man to be 
watchful of circumstances and to accommodate 
himself to them. If the torrent cannot be cross- 
ed in a bold straight line, some little swimming 
with its stream may land one safely at the 
opposite side. Assuredly, the greater part of 
wisdom is coolness when others are hot; in fact, 
fools make sages. Yet, in my present success, 
caution and temporising alone have not won the 
battle. I have been powerfully assisted by 
chance — say .my usual good fortune ; and in a 
way, too, that while I took my advantage of 
it, I did not, then, and cannot yet under- 



PETF.fi, OF THE CASTLE. 291 

stand. But no matter about that mystery 
now; a time will come for unravelling it at 
leisure.'" 

The time was nearer at hand than he 
thought. 

Uttle conversation ensued between the gen- 
tlemen on the road homeward. Mr. Pratt's 
remarks were confined to anticipations of the 
joy and relief their safe return would give 
Ellen. They gained that point of the road 
approaching the hill, which led down to the 
village, and which commanded to their right 
hand,jtnd under them, a view of the banks 
of the river, and the group of old castles. 
At sight of the ruins, from the carriage win- 
dow, Redmond bethought of his late wish 
to have a last interview with Padhre; and 
now, even supposing him not to meet the so- 
litary at home, he determined— if for no other 
purpose than to replace the locket, — upon leav- 
ing the carriage awhile, and walking down the 
descents to the water. When he signified his 
ihtentifcn, Mr. Pratt looked surprised, if not 
suspicious of, perhaps, an attempt to escape, 
and desired to know Redmond's business with 
Padhre. His companion gave some slight 
reason, but would not be denied; Mr. Pratt 

o2 



292 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

could keep him in view and wait in the carriage 
for him, he said ; and he got out and bent his 
way down to the river side. 

Approaching the ruins, he saw Padhre's two 
old attendants hobbling, at a considerable dis- 
tance, along the water's edge ; Padhre himself 
was not with them or before them, but he might 
have walked out of view. Redmond gained his 
castle, and his cell-door. The bundle of hav 
filled the outer archway ; he pushed it in, en- 
tered, and Padhre's wailing " oh — h, oh — h," 
sounded in his ear. 

Looking round, he saw him stretched, un- 
dressed, upon his humble couch, appearing, 
from the listless way he lay, and from the un- 
usual paleness of his cheek and brow, to be ex- 
hausted with sickness. His voice, too, as he 
gave his complaining challenge, sounded feeble 
and hoarse. 

" I have returned to see you, Padhre," Red- 
mond began, sitting on the deal box, " before 
the time you named, because I thought you 'd 
be glad to hear I was going to do your bid- 
ding at last." Padhre ceased his cry, as if 
attentively listening. t€ Yes, Padhre, I have 
lost for ever her whose smile was the only 
one that can ever cheer my young life, and 
I am about to unite myself to another wo- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 293 

man, who, although worthy of any man's 
love, I can never love, and whose soft and un- 
suspecting affection for me, must, till I die 
and God send that may be soon, only bring 
endless tears from my eyes and heart." 

Redmond's own voice now faltered ; Padhre 
held up his hands, as if to bless and thank his 
protege, and afterwards made signs to the effect 
that his sad forebodings were imaginary, and 
that all happiness would attend his choice. 
" No, no, good friend ; and if ever you had 
felt a true love, you could not think it, 1 ' con- 
tinued Redmond ; " if ever you had felt the 
promise made, morning and night, to your heart 
in a younger day, that only one other heart 
alone could bring it joy and contentment, that 
only one eye could bless it with a smile, and 
only one hand confer a pledge worth the taking 
— and, oh, Padhre ! if, after this, you had 
ever seen that heart darkened to you, that eye 
clouded, that hand drawn back and kept for 
another, you would feel with me how hopeless a 
thing it is, in the first breaking of youth, to — n 
Tears, the vent of his blacker feelings of the 
previous night, stopped Redmond, and he could 
perceive that the poor listener wept too, turn- 
ing on his couch to hide a bitter agitation ; and 
as the young man recollected the little locket 



294r PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

and the tress of shining black hair, his heart 
smote him with the notion of his having placed 
before Padhre, in his suppositious case, a true 
picture of the wretch's former experience and 
feelings. 

u And I came to tell you another story, Pad- 
hre," continued Redmond, after a short pause ; 
" you know I have been bred up without a fa- 
ther, or the knowledge of one ; but I came to 
tell you I have at last found out my father." 

The hermit, forgetting the physical depression 
that had evidently weighed him down, started 
up on his elbow, and looked wildly at Red- 
mond. 

, §€ Yes, old friend ; last night my father's 
claim to me was proved ; and a robber is that 
father." 

" They lie that brought you the story !" ex- 
claimed Padhre, in a tone so deep and loud 
that^the old ruin echoed to it : and as he spoke, 
completely shaking off the sickness of his body, 
he sprang to his feet with such a stern energy, 
and showed a bearing so lofty and grand, that, 
recollecting the long silence of his life, and the 
former quietness and humility of his air, Red- 
mond was also startled to his feet. 

" Who blinded you with that fable, boy ? n 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 295 

continued Padhre, as they confronted each 
other. " Answer me, in a word, that I may 
confound them! — I break an awful vow for 
this ;" he went on, dropping on his knees ; — 
" but, oh! good and merciful God ! — thou wit- 
nesseth how suddenly it has taken me, and how 
great is the temptation to loose my tongue at 
last in a communion with my fellow-creatures ! 
No presumption, no thought of worthiness, no 
forgetfulness of my sin prompts the disobedi- 
ence — the hope to do good — to right the wrong- 
ed — to speak the truth, that innocence may be 
' shielded, and the enemies of truth defeated ; — 
this alone is my motive !" he bent his head on 
his breast. Redmond looked and listened in 
consternation, not wholly unmixed with joyful 
hope. Although the hermit's tones were loud 
and intense, his pronunciation was thickened and 
imperfect, as if a long disuse of the powers and 
mechanism of the tongue had impaired its faci- 
lity. Redmond thought it was as if a dead man 
had been restored to speech, and with his clayey 
and frozen lips suddenly and lamely attempted 
the language of a former existence. These 
fancies confused him. The vehement denial of 
the story of his parentage supplied the relief to 
his feelings. 



296 PKTEE OF THE CASTLE. 

Padhre's mental prayers were ended, and he 
arose, less agitated, and resumed. 

" Do not. stand silent, young man, when at 
last you ought to speak to the purpose. Who 
imposed the story on you ?" ' 

" My guardian, and the man who called 
himself my father." 

" Pratt ? what could have been his reason ?" 
(musing) " no matter ; a bad one, whatever it 
was ; and one that deprives him, perhaps, of the 
chance he hitherto had of an alliance with you. 
And who is the man that acted with him ?" 

" They certainly did not act together ; on 
the contrary, it was by violence, and to save his 
life, that Pratt confirmed in my hearing all the 
facts the other had previously told me." 

" Let it be so — but tell me who is that other." 

" The robber, Cushneiche ; you must have 
heard of him, and seen him." . 

Padhre appeared astonished to the utmost as 
he said — t( yes — I have heard of him, but we 
never met — where is he, now ? can you inform 
me?" 

" He has spent much of his early life at sea, 
I understand," said Redmond, first making a 
remark suggested by sudden associations, and 
waiting to note its effect. 



PETKK OF THE CASTLE. 297 

" Ay, say you so P M in increased interest ; 
" how old is this man ? what is his height ? 
what his style of features ?" 

Redmond gave an accurate description. Pad- 
hre listened anxiously. 

" Then where can he be found, I say ?" 

" In the gaol of , whence I have this 

moment escaped, only on conditions of entering 
into the alliance with Pratt, to which you just 
alluded." 

" Leave me," continued Padhre, after ano- 
ther moment of reflection — " I will see this man 
in his dungeon, and he shall recant the false- 
hoods he has told you ; and if, by his means, 
Pratt now wishes to compel you into the mea- 
sure your declarations and your youthful tears 
of this evening convince me you dislike, he shall 
stand before Pratt, in a few hours, to disclaim 
any such agency ; — lie or I can send another. 
Farewell. 1 am ill and weak, 1 ' he continued, 
placing one hand on his forehead, and the other 
on his heart. " Since we last met I have been 
sorely visited with, I hope, the final warning, 
but Heaven will allow me breath and strength 
for this, and you may rely on my endeavours." 

" Sir, 1 ' said Redmond, unconsciously using 
the term of respect and awe with which he 
o 5 



298 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

now began to regard his companion ; " this 
very evening I have agreed to sign the articles 
of marriage." 

" And do I not promise you help this very 
evening ? n 

" Am I then to understand that I must not 
sign until that help comes ?" 

A noise as of one entering the castle was 
heard, and Mr. Pratt's voice called on Red- 
mond. 

" Farewell, I say — he comes to summon you ; 
and, as you value your interest, do not stay here 
to let him hear us speaking together — away, 
and meet him on the stairs ; but," he added, in 
a low whisper, " do nothing in a hurry, now." 

Redmond bounded along the dangerous shelf, 
that, forming almost two sides of a square, led 
from Peter's recess to the point communicating 
with the stairs. Answering with earnest apokv 
gies Mr. Pratt's remonstrances for delay, both hur- 
ried out of the ruin, gained the carriage, and, 
soon after, Mr. Pratt's house. 

" I must leave you alone, here, Redmond," 
said Mr. Pratt, when they entered a room, " for 
a little time. First, I have to see Cotteril, and 
use with him the last argument for your safety, 
of the nature of which I may as well now ac- 



PETER OF THE CAS TLB. 299 

quaint you. Although from, some cause I can- 
not exactly define, but, perhaps, from your 
darkness to him, he dislikes you, Redmond, yet 
Cotteril is alive to my interests, and, above all, 
adores his young lady. I will tell him, then, 
waiving all nice feelings, that her happiness, per- 
haps her life, depends on yours ; and that, I 
know, will at once influence him." 

" 'Tis, indeed, a disagreeable and shocking 
resource, Sir, considering the connexion between 
master and servant, and that a lady's secret is 
concerned." 4 

€t Did I not say it was ? Do you not recol- 
lect my first words on the subject? But, how- 
ever repulsive, the thing must be done. And 
next, Redmond, you will have to wait until I 
inform Ellen of your intentions with respect td 
her. v I suppose you think it as well that I 
should be your advocate ?" 

" Certainly, Mr. Pratt," answered Redmond, 
eagerly catching at a proposal that seemed cal- 
culated to save, in a degree, his present peculiar 
feelings. 

" Perhaps it would even be for the best, if, 
saying in your name all the little matters usual 
on such occasions, I did away with the necessity 
of a formal explanation between you and her?" 



300 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

Redmond again warmly assented. Mr. Pratt 
would say what he wished ; and by laying an 
emphasis as he spoke, Redmond thought to ex- 
tenuate to his own sense of honour and deli- 
cacy, the disingenuousness he felt himself for- 
ced to commit. 

" Well then, Redmond, another word. If I 
come to lead you by the hand to Ellen, you will 
understand that she admits your suit; and, 
when ye meet, you will promise me to spare 
her the most remote allusion to any recent occur- 
rences, of which the discussion might be too 
strong for her feelings." 

Redmond once more agreed, and Mr. Pratt 
left him to prepare Ellen, in his own way, for 
the coming scene. 

He found her in her chamber, touching a 
little harp, as she sang a mournful song, for 
the words of which he stopped at her door to 
listen. 

" Oh ! when I pause, and think upon 

My own green hills and pleasant river 
Where I have blithely roving gone, 

To shoot at will my fancy's quiver— 
The hope of childhood in my breast, 

Free of the chain that since has bound me, 
The broad sun sinking in the west, 

A : ~ »arth. and water laughing round me : 



it 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. SOI 

'When in the silence of the night, 

Such recollections swell my sorrow, 
I start and loath the coming light 

That brings with it no happy morrow ; 
I wept not that my hopes should flee, 

Forgetful of their fond beguiling, 
But now I weep that health should be 

As fickle as their foolish smiling !" 

With a sigh that was speedily followed by a 
smile, her father entered, before the last cadence 
of the song was finished. She smiled in return 
at his approach, but in such sort as sent no joy 
to his heart. 

" My pretty coquet," he began, sitting by 
her side — " do you remember a promise I made 
you?"— 

Ellen started, blushed, trembled ; but an- 
swered " No !" 

" What ! — nothing of a pledge to place a 
certain person at your feet, within a given time? 
— ancl now, suppose the time should even be 
anticipated ?" 

And in this strain Mr. Pratt continued, until, 
according to his plans, he had prepared Ellen 
to meet Redmond in an hour : and then he went 
to complete other arrangements. 

When the person of whom he spoke, sat down 
in the apartment where his guardian had left 



308 PKTEE OF THE CASTLE. 

him, he bent his mind to consider all the views 
of his extraordinary situation. But, more than 
on any former occasion, he was incapacitated for 
sober thought. Every recurrence to Padhre^s 
promise to belie Cushneiche's and Pratt's story, 
sent a rush of joy about his heart that be- 
wildered him ; and every recurrence to his en- 
gagement with Ellen made him flame with im- 
patience, and, on account of his still counte- 
nancing while he hoped to evade it, with shame 
and some self-contempt. In the hope of being 
rescued from the infamy of a near alliance with 
a wretch, visions of Rosalie again flitted over his 
mind, and tempted him into an ecstasy; — a 
recollection that to realize these visions he must 
now, no matter on what account, falsifv decla- 
rations he had permitted Pratt to make to Ellen, 
made him wring his hands in despair. More 
than once he started up, to call out to Mr- 
Pratt, and interrupt the interview between him 
and his gentle daughter, which, each moment, 
was involving him deeper; but a certain mis- 
giving curbed him. After all, could he — 
ought he — to place implicit reliance on Padhre's 
vehement contradictions and incoherent pro- 
mises ? — What warrant had he that they were 



PETKR OF THE CASTLE. 803 

not of a piece with the occasional insanity attri- 
buted to the solitary, and of which some for- 
mer intercourse between them had seemed to 
supply certain proof ? — At last Redmond came 
to a determination. He would avoid, as long as 
possible, any act that could positively commit 
him to a future course ; in fact, he would 
reckon, as long as possible, on the interference 
that had been vaguely promised ; but if it did 
not appear at the time within which, every 
thing considered, it ought naturally to appear, 
Redmond made up his mind to take Padhre's 
inconsistency as a demonstration of his madness, 
and he would then no longer hesitate to save 
poor Ellen's feelings, and, indeed, his own sense 
of honour, from a chance of the discovery that 
he was indifferent to her. If he could not 
contrive to keep out of her presence, he resolv- 
ed not to face her with a falsehood even upon 
his brow, or in his manner ; if once they met, 
he would bind himself to her for ever. 

The evening drew on ; the room in which he 
sat, deepened in shadow, and while Mr. Pratt 
still stayed away, the hours and moments he had 
allowed himself for a decision expired. At 
last it grew so late that he gave up all hope, 



804 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

and at the same time, embraced his conditional 
alternative; and just as his mind 'came to a 
point, his guardian entered the apartment. 

Advancing slowly to Redmond, he held out 
his hand in silence, and led him up stairs. Upon 
the way, Mr. Pratt pressed his ward's hand, 
but did not feel a return. They entered the 
spacious and old fashioned drawing-room. It 
seemed to have been hastily and imperfectly 
lighted. Upon a table, at the remote end, there 
was a single lamp, sufficient, however, to show 
to Redmond's view a folded parchment Cot- 
teril stood simpering by the table. In a win- 
dow-recess, to the right-hand side, Ellen was 
seated. 

In continued silence Mr. Pratt led Redmond 
almost the whole length of the room to salute 
her. She tried to stand up as they came near, 
but was obliged to drop in her chair agaLi, 
trembling and weeping. Without uttering a 
word, Redmond, not uninterested by her joy- 
ful distress, her obvious devotion to him, her 
weakness and her beauty, sat by her side, took 
her hands in his, and pressed them tenderly to 
his lips. 

Mr. Pratt had walked to the table, and stand- 
ing sideways to the young pair, taken up the 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 806 

parchment and employed himself in reading it. 
Cotteril,' grinning and whispering, peered at it 
over his shoulder. In a few minutes Redmond 
heard his name softly pronounced by Mr. Pratt. 
He arose from his silent interview with Ellen, 
and repaired also to the table. 

" Read it, dear Redmond," whispered his 
guardian, presenting the instrument, u and first 
see if you approve it ; then you can sign at 
once : Cotterill will witness." 

" I am sure there is no need, Sir," replied 
Redmond, smiling a ghastly smile, — " it must 
be all perfectly correct ; I will sign at once, if 
you please." 

Ducking and grinning, Cotteril began to 
mend a pen. Mr. Pratt turned towards the end 
of the apartment near the door ; and — " Aye," 
he thought, " no matter for the explanation of 
the robber's motive ; no matter yet awhile ; 
whatever tempted him to fabricate the story of 
his connexion with this boy, it has served the 
purpose ; the dread of exposure as the son of 
such a man compels Redmond to make Ellen 
his wife ; and I want no more at present to set 
my heart at ease about the future. What is the 
matter, below ?" interrupting his reverie, and 
speaking aloud, as he walked to the door. Red- 



306 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

mond had taken the pen. He started, and laid 
it down. 

A servant ran up stairs, in such speed that 
he and his master came in contact at the open 
door, and the man, glancing behind him, and 
looking agitated, passed Mr. Pratt into the mid- 
dle of the drawing-room. 

-< Fellow, what is the matter, I ask ?" con- 
tinued Mr. Pratt. 

" There is a stranger below, Sir/' answered 
the man, in a whisper. 

" Well? — if it is not Cushneiche again, why 
should a stranger cause this bustle P Show him 
into the dining-room, and say I am engaged, but 
will see him in a few minutes." 

" His appearance is so uncommon, Sir — and 
he takes no notiee of us, — but has walked into 
all the rooms below, as if searching for you — and 
'he will answer no questions, Sir, and speak no 
word to us; — listen, Mr. Pratt! he walks up 
stairs." 

" That step is not assumed — that is his foot, 
indeed P muttered Pratt, as he drew backward 
from the door. Redmond heard a heavy and 
measured tread coming up to the drawing- 
room ; and presently a tall and gaunt man,. ha- 



KETSB OF THE CASTLE. SOT 

bited in a foreign dress, paced one pace into the 
apartment. His face, indistinct to Redmond 
through the shadow which wrapt the far end of 
the room, was very pale ; he wore mustachocs; 
and, without frowning, his black eyes fell on 
Pratt. After entering, he stopped, and remained 
motionless as a statue. Redmond thrilled as he 
gazed at the silent visitor. If the dead could, 
after a long absence from earth, re-appear in 
fleshy mould and wonted costume, the figure 
might suggest supernatural terrors. There was 
no sympathy in his eye with life, or with the 
living. His features were fixed in the rest, as 
well as in the hue of the grave ; his very dress 
seemed colourless and blurred, as if with the 
dust and the decay of ages. Some such doubts 
of the nature of his guest appeared to assail Mr. 
Pratt; for, as his distended eyes returned the 
stare fastened upon them, he stooped low, press- 
ing his clasped hands between his knees, and 
the broken breathing that denotes an inward 
shudder, was, in the deep silence, heard to es- 
cape him. The stranger beckoned him forward. 
He shrunk farther off. The mute command 
was repeated, again and again, and he at last 
obeyed it. The stranger stept back through the 



308 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

door, and resumed his signals. Pratt, cring- 
ing into himself, and yet, as if drawn by irre- 
sistible force, while his eyes still dwelt on 
the pale face of his summoner, gradually fol- 
lowed. 

" Go not out with him, father F screamed 
Ellen, and fell : — but at that instant Pratt had 
crossed the threshold, and the door closed on 
him and his visitor. 

Redmond sprang to support the senseless 
girl ; Cotteril had run to hide himself in the 
deep recess of a window. As he held her in his 
arms, the measured tread of the stranger sound- 
ed up the staircase leading to the sleeping 
apartments ; then Redmond heard it, overhead, 
in Mr. Pratt's bed-chamber; then fainter, in 
the inner closet ; and then it rested. After 
some time, Mr. Pratt re-entered the drawing- 
room, alone, holding some* legal deeds in his 
hand ; advanced with a tottering step to Red- 
mond ; put his left arm round Ellen ; with the 
right held out the parchments to his ward ; and 
when Redmond had taken them, waved his dis- 
engaged hand to him, as he said—" Leave my 
daughter to my own care; and to the only 
protection she can now expect: these are the 
documents that make you lord and master of 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 809 

this house. We shall ask the shelter of its 
roof from you only until she is able to make 
a journey." 

After he had spoken, the stranger's foot went 
from the door, where it would seem he had been 
listening, and then down stairs, and out of the 
house. 



1 



310 PSTEJ& OF THE CA8TLE. 



CHAPTER XI. 

It is now necessary to explain what led to 
the, closing incidents of the last chapter ; and 
for this purpose we must go back, a little. 

After Miss D'ArnelFs rencounter with Red- 
mond, on her road home from Kitty Tobitfs 
wedding, and after the message sent to him by 
Mr. Fenelly, we trespass so far on the young 
lady^s private and reserved feelings as to inti- 
mate that she did not experience much peace of 
mind. True, until the moment he was bidding 
her an eternal farewell, Redmond had never 
declared his passion, and she had never been 
called on to institute an exact enquiry into the 
state of her heart towards him. But they had 
been for a whole year very good friends, to- 
gether ; reading the same books, discussing the 
same subjects, taking the same walks and rides; 
and, when their eyes met, which was often, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 311 

seeing each other's opinions and feelings re- 
sponded to a nicety in every glance. . And if, 
along with all this, it be considered that Rosalie 
D'Arnell was doomed, under the roof of her 
sad and melancholy protector, to almost total 
exclusion from the world ; and that Redmond 
was at once the only young man she saw, and 
the only cheerer of her solitude, the natural 
presumption will appear to be that the old and 
never-ending result must have gradually been 
taking place between them. When, therefore, 
it became necessary, in consequence of the 
shocking disclosures regarding him, that she 
should give up Redmond's society for ever, 
Rosalie felt nothing less, however she might 
try to disguise it to her own breast, than the 
pangs of disappointed affection ; while the cir- 
cumstances of the case added unusual poignan- 
cy to her* sufferings. 

But the young lady's pride and spirit helped 
her to wage constant war against her softer 
impressions. That her high aristocratic blood 
should ever have throbbed in unison with the 
degraded stream which, it was now proved, ran 
through Redmond's veins, was a reflection 
almost always sufficient to make her ashamed 
of any gentle sentiments in his regard, and to 



312 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

leave, in her opinion, lofty, compassion as her 
sole present feeling towards him. She had, too, 
a duty to perform, which assisted her efforts to 
forget. The Count O'Ruark, her unhappy 
guardian, required and merited from her all the 
attentions and all the little cheering tributes 
of love and gratitude whichj a heart sincerely 
feeling both could bestow. The gloom, the 
bitterness, and the depression which, since they 
had met, formed his character, now began more 
than ever to predominate. His health grew 
worse, and the weakened and shrinking body 
allowed full tyranny to the mind. He remain- 
ed locked up in his chamber oftener and longer 
than usual, although, for years, solitary habits 
had been confirmed to him ; and his groans, 
his sighs, and his tears, that ever had a refer- 
ence to the past, were more frequent to Rosa- 
lie's ear, as she stole to his door to listen ; or to 
her eye, upon the few occasions when he would 
yield to her gentle tap, her intreaties, or her 
light song, and allow her a moment's opportuni- 
ty to sit by his side and console him. 

After her last meeting with Redmond, Miss 
D'Arnell had then a double motive in de- 
voting herself to alleviate the sorrows of her 
protector. During the whole morning and day 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 318 

ahe repeatedly stole to his door, and by every 
device tried to induce him to open it and 
admit her. She described how fine the day 
was, although a February day ; and how de- 
serving of being honoured by a short trip half- 
way down the avenue, (the extent of the Count's 
walk, whenever he ventured abroad,) or at least 
by a saunter in the garden. She brought her 
guitar, and sitting on a little stool outside the 
chamber, accompanied herself in all the songs 
that used to soothe him ; but every wile proved 
vain. At last, with a heavy and sincere sigh, 
she told him she was ill and unhappy. This 
soon brought him out; aud, faintly smiling 
on the beautiful girl, her emaciated and feeble 
guardian led her to the drawing-room. 

"Now you must and shall take one little 
stroll with me, down the avenue," continued 
Rosalie, as, sitting by his side, every endeavour 
to amuse him failed. He mournfully shook his 
head in refusal. 

" But there is a particular reason, 1 * she con- 
tinued; "do you remember the last time we 
took the same walk P ,% 

" It was only yesterday, Rosalie.'" 

" Well ; and do you remember the great old 
dog that, as his ragged master passed the gate, 

VOL. III. F 



314 PETER OF THE CASTLB. 

came prowling up the avenue, and showed such 
a sudden liking for you ?" 

The Count slightly remembered the dog, but 
not his attentions, spoken of by Rosalie. 

" I saw him, though, first stand to look at 
you, and then he came limping after us, as we 
walked back to the house, snuffing and smelling 
as if he thought he could make you out : just 
before you stepped into the hall, he did seem to 
have made up his mind about you, and wagged 
his spare tail and attempted to jump round you : 
I feared he might prove troublesome, and so 
threatened him away with my handkerchief. 
After we came in, the servants tried to scold 
him away: he was too aged to be beaten. 
But now for the point of the story: — he 
will not go away ; — he has made many requests 
to be admitted at the hall door ; and, for all 
that can be done, is resolved not to retire far- 
ther from the house than the spot in the avenue 
where he and you first met. The poor old brute 
has slept out there last night, and is sitting 
shivering in the cold there this moment ;— will 
you come and ask him what he wants, or what 
he knows about you ?" 

With a faint interest, the Count inquired the 
kind of dog he appeared to be. When Rosalie 
had described him as a large dog, of the New- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 815 

foundland species, her companion's interest in- 
creased ; and, after a moment's pause, he offered 
Rosalie his arm and walked out with her. 

At about the place mentioned by the young 
lady the animal appeared, indeed, seated ; his 
head and eyes turned* to the house. The mo- 
ment the Count came down the hall steps he 
stood up, and seemed to exert to the utmost his 
dimmed eyesight, as if, according to Rosalie, 
again trying to make him out They drew close, 
and he crept, with a lowered neck and tail, 
smelling all round him. After a little time, the 
tail began to move ; and, finally, the old dog, 
looking up stedfastly into the Count's face, 
uttered low short barks, and cut some capers, 
as lively as his great age, and perhaps his re- 
maining doubts, permitted. 

" There," said Rosalie; " he knows you 
quite well." 

" It is very strange, Rosalie, — very agita- 
ting indeed," answered the Count. " Twenty 
years ago I had such a dog; but a dreadful 
circumstance separated us, 1 half the world's dis- 
tance from Ireland and how he has come here, 
if, indeed, it is the same animal, I cannot, 
without horrible misgivings, suppose. Down, 
sir! down!" continued the Count, trembling 

p 2 



316 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

with excitement, as the dog, growing more con- 
vinced, attempted to jump upon him ;— " down, 
Sancho, down !" 

, At the sound of the name given him, and 
while the Counts emaciated hand patted his 
head, the dog seemed to arrive at full certainty, 
and his yelpings and pranks evinced the ex- 
cess of his joy. " Sancho, man !" continued the 
Count, stretching out his hands, while tears 

started to his eyes, " my poor Sancho, is it 

?»» 

" Wow, wow, wow-ou-ou !" answered Sancho, 
plunging on the hands that had often fed him, 
and fondling them, and licking them all over. 

" If dogs can weep, he sheds tears himself," 
said Rosalie, while her own trickled fast. 

" It is he — my old, old friend, Sancho," re- 
sumed the Count, as, overcome by his weak feel- 
ings, he knelt on one knee, and bent his head to 
the delighted old brute, who thereupon greeted 
his master's face as he had before greeted his 
hands. 

" And what brought you here, Sancho ?" 
continued the Count; " where do you live? 
and who is now your protector in old age ?* 

Sancho cocked his ears at the inquiring tone 
of the voice, looked into the speaker's eyes, and 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 317 

then, whether or no he vaguely comprehended 
the question, or that the action was a result of 
his own sudden thought, gave an invitating 
prance and bark ; trotted, in a serious business- 
like way, towards the avenue gate ; stopped ; 
looked back ; returned ; took the Count's skirt 
in his mouth, and again moved off, conveying 
as plainly as a sagacious dog can do it, " Come 
with me, and you shall see." 

The Count unconsciously advanced in his 
steps. This was the moment that, in perfor- 
mance of his promise to Redmond, Padhre was 
on his way to visit Cushneiche in the gaol. 
He now appeared striding rapidly by, when the 
scene within attracted him. He stopped short, 
looked in through the bars of the gate, and 
whistled. Sancho started at the sound, and 
ran to him in new demonstrations of joy. In 
a few seconds he returned to the Count, and 
again pulled his skirts, as if proposing an 
introduction between him and the hermit. The 
Count drew back in terror. Padhre, rivetting 
his eyes upon him at about twenty yards dis- 
tance, also fell back. Sancho ran to him again. 
He thrust in his arm through the bars, seized 
the dog by the neck, and in an appalling tone 
cried — 



318 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" In the name of the blessed Trinity, call him 
by his name !" 

" Sancho!" screamed the Count. Padhre re- 
plied in a piercing shriek, and disappeared 
from the gate. The Count tottered and swung 
round. The weak arms of Rosalie supported 
him. 

u Who is that man ?" he gasped out : " have 
you ever seen him before, Rosalie ? what is his 
name ?" 

" He is a poor recluse, Sir, called Padhre of 
the Castle, from his having inhabited one of the 
little ruins by the river's side, nearly twenty 
years, they say." 

" Twenty years !" repeated the Count, and 
lay senseless in her arms. Rosalie cried aloud ; 
servants came out; and he was conveyed into 
the house; Sancho, at Rosalie's desire, being 
also taken care of. 

When he recovered, the Count asked his gen- 
tle attendant to get him a draught she would 
find in his closet. She presented it ; he drank it, 
and from its effects seemed to gain strength and 
Energy. He then required to know if Rosalie 
could refer him to any one who woidd be able 
to give a satisfactory account of Padhre. She 



rETEB OF THK CASTLE. 819 

knew of no such person or persons, unless it 
might be the two old men who constantly at- 
tended upon him in the Castle, and during his 
walks. The Count desired to be left alone; and, 
in about an hour after the scene in the avenue, 
she saw him, to her great surprise, issue from 
the house, and, with an earnest step, through 
the avenue gate. 

He continued his way towards the ruins. As 
he entered among them, the two old men, who 
on this day had gone out to beg' without Pa- 
dhre, he being too ill to leave the chance of a 
necessity for their attendance, appeared coming 
home by another path. Their figures and dress, 
and their presence in the lonesome place, con- 
vinced the visitor they were the persons he 
sought, and he at once required at their hands 
an account of who and what the hermit was. 

" An' who is id that axes?* demanded 
Daddy Clayton, in no better humour than 
usual ; — u an' is this the way we Ve to be vexed 
an' bothered, morning, noon, and night, by peo- 
ple we know nothin* of, an* care less about, 
comin' to bring us to an account in our own 
place ? An' what knowledge duv they want to 
get iv him that has nothin' to do wid the world, 



820 PETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

or wid the gentle or simple, or one that brathes 
the breath o' life in the world, bud is in hands 
that'll take care iv him to his dyiri* day ?" 

u Saucy old man," said the Count;— but he 
was immediately interrupted by the clamours of 
both, returning his language with interest, and 
screaming out to him to " lave their house atf 
their place, an' take their heavy curse along wid 
him." He believed them to be mad, and, as a 
last resource, flung down a heavy purse, renew- 
ing his requests. Daddy Clayton precipitated 
himself on the largess and crooked it up, but 
gave no return, contenting himself with still 
commanding the visitor to retire instantly. His 
companion, however, moved, perhaps, as well 
by the Count's appearance, and the great inte- 
rest he, showed in his inquiries, as by his boun- 
ty, drew near and whispered—" Ax your ques- 
tions iv the priest, Father Fenelly : we know no 
more nor you do ; but he knows all — for it's in 
his hands Padhre is, an' it 's he hirM us to 
watch him, mornia', noon, an' night, afther the 
time we dhragged him from the river, when he 
wanted to lie in id." 

The Count knew where Mr. Fenelly lived, 
and, acting on this advice, immediately walked 
towards his house. It was but a short distance 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 391 

from the. ruins. About halfway, the person he 
was speeding to seek approached him. They 
met in mutual agitation, and fixed their looks on 
each other. 

" I was about to visit you, Sir/' began the 
Count; " I had an inquiry to make, which, 
I am told, you can answer — only one ques- 
tion. Do you know a person they call Padhre- 
na-Moulh ?" 

" I expected your question, Count. I do 
know the man. I have known him these twenty 
years, since his first coming to this country.*' 

" Who is he ? what is his real name, Sir ? — 
do you know that ?" 

" I do; — but, although your agitation seems 
sufficient for certainty, allow me a question 
which must be solved before your own : what is 
your reason for these inquiries ?" 

u I have just seen him — about an hour ago— 
for the first time, here-r— and I believe I have 
seen in him a brother — a wretched brother !" 

" And when he saw you, at the same time, 
he was as certain of the connexion ; for he came 
to me and said so ; but one other question, if you 
please : the name you bear is no more your real 
name than that by which he is known? am I 
right r 

p 5 



883 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" You are ; — my true name is M'Carty.' 

" Then* Count, you have indeed beheld, af- 
ter his contrition and sufferings of twenty long 
years, your unfortunate brother, Collum.* 

The priest extended his arm to support his 
friend in the increased agitation this solemn con- 
firmation brought on. 

" Wonderful heaven ! wretched Collum ! 
praise to the double mercy that would not permit 
his crime, and yet that wrought upon his heart 
to repent and offer up a life's atonement for the 
intention to perpetrate it ! and praise, ten thou- 
sand praises to the goodness that leaves us both 
alive so long, that, after his twenty years of 
misery, I may console his torn heart by a bro- 
ther's forgiveness ! oh, wonderful ! and perhaps, 
good God ! perhaps the child too — my boy !— 
perhaps — " / 

" He lives, Sir," said the priest ; " and Collum 
is this moment employed in a business that puts 
him in possession of an estate purchased for 
him with the treasure honourably amassed by 
his father ." 

" My boy, Mr. Fenelly ! do you talk of my 
boy ? and am I a father yet ? v 

" You are, Sir, the happy father of a youth, 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 823 

who, in heart and mind, is an honour to his fa- 
ther ; and though, to this hour, Redmond does 
not. know his poor uncle, Collum has known 
him, and watched him closely, since a few 
months after the day he brought him here, an 
infant." 

u Redmond, you say ? what Redmond ? can 
you mean the lad that, shortly after I settled in 
Ireland, helped to save my life, and, until a few 
days back, visited at my house ?" 

" The same." 

" Great Providence ! but what mystery is 
this ? I heard a report of the parentage of that 
youth, which, because I suspected him of atten- 
tions to my ward, made it imperative in me to 
decline his visits*: what caused the report ? can 
you say, Mr. Fenelly ?" 

" Perhaps I cannot tell what first gave rise 
to it; but of its existence, at present, I be- 
lieve I can give you some account ; not here, 
however : let us walk towards the old castles. 
I was proceeding thither to await the re- 
turn of your brother from the business which 
now engages him. Come, Sir ; I perceive the 
two old warders I have placed over him issuing 
forth, in quest of their charge, I suppose; 



324 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

though, were they to meet him now, it is doubt- 
ful if they should know him; so we shall be 
undisturbed by their garrulity. Come, Sir : but 
you tremble and draw back ; — perhaps you do 
not wish to see Collum this evening ?" 

" I do, Mr. Fenelly, I do ; my heart faints 
with anxiety to see him, as well as to hear all it 
is necessary I should know : think not I can de- 
lay a moment : come ; only let me have your arm/' 

They gained, in twilight, the hermit's castle, 
and entered and sat down, on two large stones, 
among the heap of ruins, in the apartment 
under Peter's cell. Mr. Fenelly resumed : 

" To go on, Mr. M'Carty, with the last 
point upon which I said I would inform you, 
my story takes this shape. The moment Col- 
lum recognized you at the avenue gate, he ran 
to me, breathless and trembling, to tell me of 
the surprizing event. I need not acquaint you 
that he believed you were dead — dead nearly 
twenty years: his own life for twenty years 
gives the assurance. I could not quite depend 
on his information ; for, since we first met, your 
unhappy brother has shown, in occasional fits of 
insanity, how deep and corroding was his re- 
morse; and thank God, that enabled him to 
show it, in any way. But he told me other 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 826 

matters, which, from the strong bearing upon 
them of his first story, and from the earnestness 
and clearness with which he pointed out that 
connexion, in order to obtain my advice as to 
a certain step he instantly proposed to take, 
caused me to believe him in his sound senses, 
and aware of all he uttered. Collum informed 
me that, from Redmond's own lips, he had, a 
short time before his meeting with you, re- 
ceived an account of a claim of parentage made 
upon him by a depraved character, lately well 
known here, of the name of Cushneiche, who is 
now in prison ; and the youth further gave him 
to understand that, working upon his terrors of 
the discovery of Cushneiche's claim, his guar- 
dian, Pratt, had got him to assent to the sign- 
ing of a certain alliance with his, Pratt's, family, 
this evening. Now, Sir, you must know, that, 
assured of your death, and not thinking himself 
bound to proclaim to the world his own dread- 
ful part in the supposed tragedy, your brother 
had previously made up his mind to encourage 
Redmond in forming this very alliance ; be- 
cause, as you should further know, Pratt had 
taken possession of Redmond's estate and house, 
as his own property ; had kept the title-deeds 
from Collum and from him ; and altogether 



326 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

evinced such a mind as made it certain that, if 
your brother should openly bring him to ac- 
count, the old lawyer would oblige him to prove 
his real identity, and so, most probably, dis- 
cover his crime ; and Collum, therefore, sought 
to promote a marriage, between your son and 
Pratt's daughter, for the purpose of at once en- 
suring to Redmond the independence that was 
his right, and of hiding from mankind, and 
from his nephew among the number, that be 
was a fratricide, and that nephew the son of a 
man who fell by the hand of his own brother. 
But, while speaking to me, awhile ago, under 
the impression, first, that Pratt had, in the base 
claim set up by the robber Cushneiche, taken 
unfair means to compel his ward into the alli- 
ance ; next, that the youth disliked the match, 
on account of another liking elsewhere; and 
next, and most important of all, that you still 
lived, and that therefore the necessity for his 
former concealment of his real name and charac- 
ter no longer existed : speaking, I say, under 
these impressions, Collum changed his opinion 
of the expediency of allowing Redmond to form 
an alliance against his will and hopes of hap- 
piness, and, with my approbation, went off to 
Pratt ; reassuming the apparel in which, twenty 



PETER OF THB CASTLE. 827 

years ago, he presented himself to the lawyer, 
after the purchase. of the estate, and when he 
delivered up Redmond to his charge ; while I 
speak, no doubt, they have met ; and we may 
soon expect Collum here, to give us the result 
of their interview," 

" This accounts, Mr. Fenelly, for Pratt's 
publishing his base rumour ; it is clear he did 
so, and, in conjunction with the robber, follow-* 
ed it up, as you say, in order to terrify my son 
into the marriage. But why so anxious for 
the measure? why exert himself to ensure a 
union between his daughter and Redmond ? I 
cannot understand that." 

" The time specified by the statute of limita- 
tions has not yet quite expired since the date of the 
purchase of the estate in another name than his 
own, Sir ; and, perhaps, the old pleader thought 
it good policy to ensure to his daughter, and 
thereby partially to himself, a property to which 
he has no real title, and which the reappearance 
of the true owner (even within the few months 
that, if expired, would place him in safety,) 
might wholly take out of his hands. I have no 
difficulty there. My chief question on this point 
regards his forming a plot with Cushneiche to 
effect his purpose. I do not think a prudent 



328 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

person like Pratt would run the risk of com- 
mitting himself to such a character, particularly 
when his own assertions to Redmond, and the 
prevalence of the rumour I am sure he originally 
circulated, would, with good management, have 
been enough. And, indeed, I believe he never 
acted in concert with that robber" 

"Your reverance spakes rason," said the 
voice of a man, from the water-course over their 
heads that led to the hermit's little cell. They 
looked up, and a figure passed along and disap- 
peared ; and then they heard a foot coming 
down the stairs to the room where they sat. It 
was Cushn iche himself who spoke:— after 
emerging out of the gaoler's cabbage-garden, he 
had bent his steps, in consequence of Redmond's 
information about the locket, to seek the solitary 
in his castle ; had entered the ruin, before the 
Count and the priest : explored it in vain for 
the person he wished to meet ; when they came 
in, secreted himself, in habitual caution, within 
the recess above ; so overheard their conversa- 
tion : ascertained, to his great astonishment and 
delight, who one of the speakers was ; and, at 
last, at the proper time, gave the interrup- 
tion. 

In a few seconds the old robber stood before 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 329 

the priest and the Count. The latter started at 
his appearance. 

44 The neighbours they calls myself Cush- 
neiche, your reverence," he continued : " an' 
happenin' to hear a little of what you said, I 
just stepped down to uphould the last words 
you spoke." 

44 If we may believe you, man," said the 
priest, while his companion looked, in the dim 
light, closely and anxiously at Cushneiche, 
44 you have come in time, indeed, to give us 
some explanation of your motive in claiming 
Redmond Redmond as your son " 

44 Juan M'Carty, your reverence manes, 1 ' in- 
terrupted Cushneiche : " I was by when they 
put the name on him, at the chrisheninV 

The Count again started, and breathed hard. 

44 An* that chrishenin happened a little while 
afther my captain, Collum M 4 Carty, came in 
his brave ship to take home his brother Felix 
to Ireland, an* all Felix's threasure along wid 
him," continued Cushneiche : " an' the child 
got his name in Felix M'Carty's grand house, 
near the coast, an' Collum stood godfather. 
Musha, Sir," suddenly turning to the Count, 
44 do you know who's spakin' to you yet?" 

44 M ullally !" starting up. 



380 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" Keeraun Mullally, amost every inch of 
him," answered the robber. 

" Heavens, Mr. Fenelly ! here is new matter 
for amazement 1 Generous, though wretched 
man !" extending his hand;-" I have not for- 
gotten the act of mercy you once showed me. 
But how came you to Ireland ? and why do you. 
now stand before me ? Oh, Mr. Fenelly, you 
behold the man who— when, as he says, Collum 
came to me, across the seas, I knew not from 
where, for we had been parted for years, — and 
when, at Collum's instance, I turned all my 
colonial property into bullion, and embarked it, 
with my orphan child, in his vessel — you here 
see the man who, ere we had cleared the Western 
Islands, was deputed by a wretched brother to 
row me from the ship, only as far out to sea as 
might hinder my dying cries from being heard, 
and there — — " The speaker's recollections 
overpowered him. 

" An' there," said Cushneiche, taking up the 
story, "Yallow Sam an' I broke ordhers, for 
the first time, an* just rowed about half a league 
farther, an' left vou to a Godsend on the shore 
of a bit o* land, where the only foes you had to 
fear, Masther Felix, war the wild bastes, an* 
the hunger an' starvation ; none o' them as bad, 



PET BE OF THE CASTLE. 



381 



howsQmdever, as the rage an 9 revenge of a born 
brother, an 9 one that ought to be a Christhen 
man : an* that 's not the way we 'd part you, 
sir, if we had any other way to stow you off ; 
an' if Captain Collum wasn't waitin' for us on 
the deck, in the blackness o' the blackest night 
ever fell from the heavens, to get an account of 
how we done his biddin', an' if we didn't fear to 
lose our own lives for savin' o' your's. An' now 
about one o' the quistions you axed me. I 'm 
standin' afore you in this ould place to-night, 
becase I cum into it on the like arrand wid 
yourself an' his reverence, maybe, to thry if 
Padhre-na-Moulh isn't the same Collum that, 
for near twenty years, none iv us could hear of, 
it seems: an' you '11 ax me what put the thought 
into my head, an' here's the rason. Do you 
remember, Masther Felix, that before we left 
you on the wild island, Yallow Sam tuck off o* 
your neck a little keepsake, with letthers on it, 
an' a goold chain hangin' from it, tellin* you it 
was the proof that Collum bid us bring back of 
the doin* o' the ordhers he sent us out to do ?" 

" Yes, a locket, holding at one side a tress 
of my dear wife's hair, and at the other, the 
initials of her maiden name P I remember it 
well.' 1 



332 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

" An' so do I ; an' so I did this mornin', 
when I saw it round the neck o' your son, who 
tould me he got it in this ould castle. So, 
there's what brought me here ; to see the man 
that gave it to him, or that had it in his hands 
afore he got it. An* it's wid a good will 111 
spake in answer to your other questions, too, an' 
all they want me to tell, when your honour just 
let's me ax a word o' my own. Sam and I gave 
the keepsake to Captain Collum, tellin' him his 
brother was swimmin' undher as many fathom 
o'wather as the sey could rowl over him,- — an' the 
good ship brought us all to England. In some 
time, for a rason you're to hear, I was forced 
to run that same ship across the seys, agin, 
widout any one to command her but myself; 
an'comin' near the place where Sam an' I left you, 
we touched, and went ashore to see if you war 
alive or dead. A good while we th ramped 
through the bit of an island, over an' hither, but 
saw no livin' crature, or a dead one either, till, 
walkin* back to the coast, we found the remains 
of a man, that the wild bastes, we thought, had 
dhragged into a hollow in the rocks, an' left 
there, afther a hearty male. There was no face 
or fatures, an' the very clothes war tore away ; 
an' we said to one another that, there you lay, or 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 



333 



the little o^you that was left, any how ; an' from 
that day out we gave up all thought of ever 
seem' much more o 1 you, either, savin' your pre- 
sence, Masther Felix." 

•' Alas, the poor remains should have been 
mine rather than those of a benefactor who met 
a shocking fate while assisting to rescue me. 
Some days after you abandoned me, a sail came 
in view ; I raised a signal ; she approached me, 
and sent a boat. It was a French vessel. The 
boat's crew were numerous ; one of them strayed 
away from his companions, after landing ; before 
we could embark, tigers were heard in the jun- 
gle ; the poor man had not been missed ; or was 
now forgotten or unheeded ; all crowded into the 
boat ; we had not gained the ship when he ap- 
peared running towards the shore, and then we 
witnessed his dreadful death. 

" I will continue to acquaint you with my 
fortunes, afterwards, which you must be anxious 
to know. The unnatural and abominable crime 
of a brother could not be divulged. Even my 
own feelings were spared in suppressing it. I 
therefore represented myself to the captain of the 
vessel as a merchant who had been left on the 
island by the mutinous crew of a ship in which 
I had taken my passage to Europe. I could 



884 FETEB OF THE CASTLE. 

truly add, that great wealth had been plundered 
from me, and that, after more than twenty years 
of toil and industry, I now found myself penny- 
less. Suppressing my name, too, with the view 
of for ever hiding it from mankind, and particu- 
larly from my terrible brother, — with the view, 
indeed, of disclaiming a name, that, in the per- 
son of that brother, had been so immeasurably 
disgraced, I adopted the first Irish one I re- 
collected — the same I now bear — CTRuark. A 
wealthy and noble Frenchman on board, who bad 
been married to an Irish lady, became interested 
for me, as well on account of my country, as of 
my misfortunes. He offered to assist me when 
we should arrive in Europe. With httle hope 
or care about the future, I accepted his offer. 
He kept his word. Under his auspices, and, in- 
deed, his efforts, rather than mine, for the spring 
of my own energy was broken — life had no lon- 
ger an interest for me — I again arrived at wealth. 
He was a widower, like myself, with an only 
daughter ; and the single solace of my darkened 
and most miserable existence was to assist the 
growth of that sweet guTs mind; I loved her as 
a child, and even before the death of her father, 
she repaid me almost with a child's affection : he 
died ; upon his death-bed Rosalie D'Arnelf £ 



PETER OS THE CASTLE. 335 

hand was placed in mine by my excellent friend, 
and I promised to be a father to her indeed : I 
could not entertain a hope that my own boy, 
lived ; whatever was the horrible motive to des- 
troy me, must, I thought, have also compassed 
his destruction : and the little power left to me 
of loving any thing human became roused to- 
wards poor Rosalie. Alas, the uniform melan- 
choly of my life, increased after the decease of 
my friend, and by the approach of old age, has 
allowed her but little happiness under my pro- 
tection. A few words more conclude my story. 
Count D'ArnelPs death made a residence in 
France irksome to us both ; added to this, the 
yearning that even wretches feel to lay their 
bones in their native land, faintly stirred in my 
bosom ; I met in Paris an Irish gentleman who 
wished to dispose of the house and small estate 
I now occupy ; we came to terms ; and the re- f 
suit was, that the hand of Providence conducted 
me to the spot where a late happiness and bless- 
ing were in store for me/' 

46 We hard your honour say, just now, 1 ' ob- 
served Cushneiche, " that you never guessed 
the rason d* Captain Collum's doings, in your re- 
gard ; or somethin' o* the kind. First an' fore- 
most, on the head o' that, do you know, yet, 



336 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 

what kind of a ship he came to see you in, an 1 
what kind d* hands sailed undher him ?". 

" Collum told me that some years after I 
left Ireland — where, indeed, we parted in un- 
kindness.^ 

" Yes, Sir; he thought you had no "right to 
keep all the little fort'n your father left be- 
tween ye." 

" I did not keep it all, though I knew he 
hated me for saving out of his imprudent hands 
a small portion of the bequest that was exclu- 
sively mine; — no, I was not a selfish brother; 
he had means from me to support years of idle 
and disreputable squandering ; and I ceased to 
supply him, only when I became assured that 
to do so, was but to encourage him in a ruinous 
career, and at the same time ruin myself; and 
when my remonstrances, as an elder brother, 
were not only neglected, but met with ungrate- 
ful, and, I may say, savage hostility.* 1 

" Well, Sir ; but there was another little ra- 
son why Collum didn't love nor like a bone in 
your skin. You married the girl that, afore 
you an* she cum together, he was dyin' for." 

u Is that possible?" starting in unfeigned 
surprise; " I never suspected he could dislike 
me for such a reason, because I never knew be- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 887 

fore this moment that such a one existed. My 
wife — before she was my wife, — could not have 
been aware of his feelings ?" 

" I blieve not, Sir ; an' it waa fresh fuel to 
the fire in Black Collum's breast, within, that, 
when fie put himself in her way, the colleen's 
eye never tould that she liked t o see him afore 
her. He was too proud to beg the love from 
her; but her couldness was enough to gnaw 
his heart for ever, an' to make him hate, in the 
bottom o' the heart, the man that won more fa- 
vour than he could, — though th at man was own 
mother's son to him. An' now, what did he 
tell you, when he came to see you, Sir ?" 

" He told me that, as I said, a few years 
after I left Ireland, he went to seek his for- 
tune in Spain ; there met a co untryman whose 
mercantile pursuits had produced him much 
wealth ; entered the house of this person as 
an assistant ; became a partner, married his 
daughter, was at last trading to the colonies 
on his own account, and so had come, owner 
and captain together, of the fine vessel you 
•peak of." 

" Now listen to the thrue story. Afther ye 
parted in Ireland, he went to sey, an' worked 
for years afore the mast; deserted from his 
vol. in. a 



338 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

ship ; fell in, among the American Islands, with 
some rf the last o* the bould ' brethern d* 
the coast* ; found their life more to his hand an > 
his likitf than any other; got promotion an f 
command among 'em, — for out o' six ships' crews 
even of such born divils as they war, few had 
the hand an* heart to do, an' fewer the head to 
plan, like Collum— barrin' in the ould times, 
lads like ould Van-Horn, Sawkins, and Morgan 
the Taffy, that I hard tell of : an* so, Sir, it 
was in a good ship, borrowed from the king o* 
Spain himself, by two simple boat-fulls o' such 
boys as we 're spakin' of, wid Black Collum at 
their head, an* my own poor bones among 'em, 
that your brother cum to visit you ; an* it was 
afther ten years of a life spent on the wild seys 
in such company, he cum ; an* it was from the 
doin' o things that harden the heart o' man, in 
cruelty, as well as courage an' bouldness, he 
cum ; things that good christhins wouldn't be- 
lieve, an' that the wide an* silent ocean war the 
fittest witness of; — this was the brother you 
met at last, afther a partin* o' twenty years, an' 
all his ould grudges fresh in his heart agin 
you ; this was the man you thrusted yourself, 
an' your boy, an' your thrtfasure to; the man 
that I often seen head an open boat to attack a 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 339 

mounted two decker, as sure of the battle as if 
he war the hell-fire divil in arnest, that his ene- 
mies tuck him for ; the man that I often seen 
spring up into the mouths of ten roarin' cannon, 
the blazes, that couldn't kill him, scorchin' him, 
an' twenty hangers an' dirks hid for him in the 
cloud o' smoke he jumped, screechm, into ; the 
man that never yet put his foot on a deck he 
didn't masther; an' the man, too, that never 
stood five minutes on the deck he masthered, 
without clearin' it from stim to sterun, from 
the mast-head to the hould, of every sowl that 
riz a hand or spoke a breath agin his right an 1 
title. 

" An* maybe, I can g? your honour one or 
two rasons more why Black Collum let the duoul 
tempt him, that night you remember so well. 
The first year you went across the sey, do you 
bring to mind a brown Spanish girl, that had no 
objections to your makin' your own of her ?— 
You do ; well aroon. She an* Collum met afther ; 
an\ keepin' her mind to herself, — only that 
of an odd time, I pumped it out of her,— she let 
him take her by the hand ; they war togither 
when he touched on the coast : she knew you, 
an' was at his elbow in the ship when you cum 
aboord, an' for the sake o* the threasure vou 

q2 



840 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

had, as she purtended, it was her voice that first 
turned his thought to ruin you. Maybe he 
didn't mind her word about the threasure, but 
that his own ould hathred only wanted the 
wind of any word to blow it into a blaze. 
Maybe he did mind it : for we war just afther 
losin', by rason of our partner runriin' aground 
out of our company, the plundher of three 
good galloons ; an 9 it can't be hid that love an' 
likin' for the goold an' the silver was always 
the freshest breeze that filled our canvas ; — an', 
may be, more than all, the wine an* the brandy, 
that ever made him a horned divil, entirely, 
fixed the thought in his head an' heart, that 
roarin' night. 

" It's a thruth that the next mornin', Black 
Collum looked blacker than ever, an' we could 
all see it was a new darkness that cum upon 
him: but Yallow Sam an* I knew, above the 
rest, the raal manin' of it. We knew that the 
little conscience he had left, made hell's tor- 
ments in his sowl within. An' a greater mark 
of his mind was in the way he began to grow 
fond o' the child of his brether : an' it warn't 
long until I gained the knowledge of how it all 
worked Ijim. 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 841 

" He called me below, one night, an' tould 
me it was in his thought to give up a sey life* 
an wid his brother s threasure, an' some of his 
own, buy a bit o' land in ould Ireland ; an* 
that he'd bring young Juan to live on it wid 
him, and lave it all to the boy on his death-bed. 
He axed me to stand by him in the schame, 
an* I promised. We landed in England, afther 
partin* a'most all our hands, an' came bouldly 
into the mouth o' the comely river that runs 
into the sey from Lunnon. He an* I went up 
to the town, lavin' the ship in care o' Yallow 
Sam. There he saw an offer made in the news- 
paper to sell such an estate as he wanted, 
an' Pratt's name as the person to bargain wid 
for it. He wrote to Pratt, undher the name of 
Redmond Velasquez, an got letthers in return. 
I saw them all ; for I was his adviser in every 
thing. We had some delay in turnin' the whole 
of our threasure into money, afther the land 
was bought ; that was the rason he couldn't go 
over to Ireland in speed ; an' at last, when 
he did go, bringin* the boy wid him, an* the 
women I tould you of, to take care of the boy, 
it was afore the same business was settled ; so 
that he left me in Lunnon wid word to wait till 



348 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

he cum back, when we could get all our money 
together, sellin' the ship, at the same time, and 
then we war to go to Ireland for life. 

u Now comes on some o' the story ye like to 
hear best. About a week afther Collum left 
me, I got a letther from him, givin' an account 
of all he said an' done wid Pratt, an' how the 
title-deeds war not ready, but that the attorney 
gave him an' ownin' of 'em ; an' the way he put 
the child into his hands; an', to make long 
short, the letther tould me all that ye 11 soon 
hear I tould your son, Sir, a few days back, to 
make him think I was his father ; an' that I 
knew Pratt couldn't and wouldn't gainsay, un- 
dher the fear of two loaded pistols, in his hear- 
in'. An' this letther was sent to me to bid me 
do some things to be ready for Collum's return 
to JLunnon, that we might have the less delay 
in-goin' back together, to Ireland; an' the ship 
he sailed in was wind-bound at the time, in an 
Irish port. Well, I did what he bid me, an 
wated for his comin'. But he didn't come. A 
month wore away, an' I hard nothin' o' my 
captain ; an* my mind grew uneasy by rason of 
whisperins an' cullodgin' about our ship an' us, 
that Yallow Sam tould me sthrayed to his ears. 
At last, I got another letther that a'most broke 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 343 

my heart. It was a letther to take a long lave 
o* me. Collum wrote word that we war to be 
parted for ever an* a day ; that I could never 
hear more of him ; that he was lost to me an' to 
the wide world, along wid me; that I might 
sell the ship, or keep it, an' take up the money 
too, owin' to us in Lunnon, an be my own mas- 
ther; only he prached to me, like any sog- 
garth or parson, to turn into some good coorse, 
an' end my life well, an' betther than he could, 
now. What was I to think from this, but that 
the law had clapt hands on him, when he laste 
expected it, an* that it was his last speech 
he sent me? Divii another thing, I b'lieved, 
(an' Yallow Sam was o' the same mind wid me,) 
could turn the captain into a sarment-maker, for 
all that was past an' gone — the throubles o' con- 
science, themselves, for what he thought he 
done to his born brother, didn't give us a rason: 
sure if we had a notion that he was so sorry for 
it entirelv, an' 'ud like to be undeceaved on 
the head of it, an' not take our own lives for 
disobeyin' his ordhers, it's long afore we'd tell 
him the thruth o' the business; so, cock-sure 
he was a gone-man, Sam an' I began to be 
afeard on ouf own account ; an' the whispers I 
tould of, growin* more suspicious every day, 



344 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

faith, we just slipt into the good ship one morn- 
in', an' made for the ould point, to begin the 
world in the ould way, on our own bottoms. 
That was the time we touched to look for you, 
Sir, on the bit of a wild island. 

" But loock an' grace left us wid our captain. 
In a little while, the ship went to pieces on a 
rock ; Sam an' I, out of all the hands, war pick- 
ed up by an Englishman, an' landed on Eng- 
lish ground, once-again. Some little thrade like 
our own, only in the land-sarvice, was goin 
on, that time, upon the high-roads cT the place, 
an' afore we'd go over to Ireland to see what 
Pratt done wid the child — for that scheme was 
always in our mind, afther the first fright o' 
runnin' away in our own poor ship— sure we 
thought, as we wanted throveUm' charges, we 
might as well turn our hand to industhry. 
But, bad loock to the land, an' glory to the 
sey— axin** your reverances pardon — there was 
no such fightin' room, or sailitf room, as we 
war used to; an' we made a bad business of 
it, an' war soon captured atf put up. The turn 
of a sthraw saved our necks, an' they sent us 
to Botany ; an*, as I tould the boy yesterday 
evening (only changin' a little thing or two, to 
parve a purpose)- — we had such good lookm* 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 34$ 

afther there, that, wid all our knowledge, we 
couldn't slip a cable on 'em for near twenty long 
years, until at last a good chance stood our 
friend, an* away we worked our passage to Ire- 
land, still bent on seem' whether or no the ould 
attorney done his duty by our captain's bro- 
ther's son. 

I remembered Collum's first letther to me, 
an' we soon made out the ground we wanted. 
We couldn't dhrame of callin' Pratt to account, 
his own self, or in an open way, in regard he 
might by that manes find out what kind of a 
customer he had in Collum for the estate, an' 
so the boy might be ruined entirely ; an' may- 
be, for another rason ; we landed in the poor 
ould counthry as bare as Job, an' our mouths 
war to be filled, an' our backs covered ; an' so, 
afore we got near Pratt's part o' the counthry, 
a thrick or two o' the ould thrade sarved our 
turn ; an' it was likely the lawer^man 'ud soon 
smell us out, an' that the welcome he 'd give us 
'ud be none o' the kindest, an' not one that 'ud 
speed our business either. But to see the boy 
himself was our schame ; an' if Pratt didn't 
thrate him well, to tell him who an' what he 
was, an' his right to the estate, an' every thing 
else we ought to tell him. Redmond, as they 

q 5 



846 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

called him, wasn't at home, howsomdever ; an' 
we had to wait a long while till he cum from 
Dublin ; an' then, to tell God's thruth, we 
war forced to make more cruizes about the 
place, wid help from recruits on the spot, that 
put us in more danger than ever from Pratt an' 
his sort, an 1 gave more rason why we war be- 
houldin' to take care who we opened our mind 
to. 

" At last I come across the boy, on the hill 
near the house ; an' at last I'm to tell ye why I 
put the quare story on him ye know about, in- 
stead 6* the thrue one I thravelled so far to 
tell him. First, I didn't know him from Adam, 
when we met, until he wanted me to take, along 
wid a brave hanful o' goold an' silver, a little 
meddle, like that I remembered, even in the 
light of a bad moon, was hung round his neck, 
at the chrishenin' of him, by his uncle an' his 
godfather, an' that I often seen afore — an' may- 
be the way it came into Collum's hands, too. 
Well, when I saw it was the boy I wanted, 
I saw, at that same time, he was in some fit o' 
passion or other, as high as the highest wind the 
duoul ever blew, an' not the laste fit to hear sense 
an' rason, or take the right coorse afther hearin* 
a story that concamed him nearly; more-be- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 347 

token, however it happened — an' I know, now, 
though I couldn't guess, then—his flurry seemed 
to be on the head of the very business I wanted 
to talk to him about ; an', to mend the matther, 
the moment I just threw out a word o' sound- 
ins, like, that I could help him to a knowledge 
o' the father of him, — an' this was afore I guess- 
ed he was ravin' on the self-same question — the 
gor^oon opened on me in such a way, an* threat- 
ened me so hard, in regard o what he'd do to 
me an* to the wide world if I didn't show him 
his father was safe, or tell him who kilt him or 
hurt him, supposin' him not to be safe, that, 
faith, genteels, as we war alone on that wild 
hill, an' as he an' I had a little tussle at the first 
goin' off, an' I nothin' the betther o' the same, 
it cum into my head not to tell him at that pra- 
sant minute the whole o' the right story. But 
as he bawled at me to tell him somethin' or 
other, an' as a sthrife betwixt us 'ud lade to 
no good, any how, whichever was up or down, 
why, afther takin' a start o' thought on the 
whole matther, here's what I said, an* why I 
said it. 

" ' You 're my own child, Redmond,' says I, 
' becase, genteels, if I tould him who the raal 
father was, an' what happened him at the hands 



348 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

of his own brother, an' our lavin' him on the 
island, instead o' throwin' him, neck an' heels, 
out o' the boat, d'ye think the angry boy 'ud 
be satisfied wid my account? or b'lieve we 
hadn't kilt him instead o' savin' him ? — or wait 
to pondher it one way or the other, only either 
fly at me, to take my life that minute, or else 
dhrag me off to a gaol, an' so put himself as 
well as me into Pratt's clutches ? — But it cum 
across my mind, that if I could persuade him he 
was the son of an buld free-boother^ (though I 
say the word that shouldn't say it) telhV him, 
at the same time, all the rest o' the business, 
just as Collum's first letther tould me, only put- 
tin' myself in Collum's place, an' gettin' Pratt 
to prove my words afther, — it cum across me 
that this 'ud cool the boy, an' bring him to 
his rason; the shame o' such a father as I 
was, God help me! 'ud make him hould his 
tongue, an' take a close part, an' lave me to 
see him righted, in a way o' my own ; an' then 
when all was clane over, my last thought 
was to dhraw off out o' harum's way, from 
him, an' Pratt, an' the whole kit o'ye, an' 
write a letther, as well as I remembered how, 
that 'ud clear up the only point I darkened 
him on, an' give the name an' the karacthar 



, PETER OF THE CASTLE. % 849 

of the thrue Redmond Velasquez, an', by 
coorse, the thrue man that once owned him. 
An* so, there 's the manin' o"* the part I tuck, 
an' there 's all my little schames for ye, from 
bigginnin' to ending as bright as they cum 
into Eeeraun Mullally's head, an' as he done 
'em, or as he meant to do 'em, any how." 



\ 



350 PETER OF THE CA8TLE. 



CHAPTER XII. 

u It was of a dreary night in December, I 
first met your brother Collum, Sir," said the 
priest, after the old pirate had done speaking, 
and when Mr. Felix M'Carty, as we are now 
obliged to call him, had put some questions to 
Mr. Fenelly ; — " of a Saturday-night, too ; I 
remember it well ; one of the last upon which 
my poor people crowd into the little chapel to 
prepare for their Christmas duty. Ere I en- 
tered the confessional, I had observed a very 
remarkable roan sauntering, or rather dodg- 
ing about the chapel-yard that was before the 
chapel-door. He wore a sailor's dress; one 
marking a degree above the common sailor, 
for aught I know; but his air, his facte, his step, 
and the whole bearing of his tall, straight figure 
suggested, at all events, the idea of a superior 
person. Something wondering to see a stranger 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 351 

of his kind in such a place and also recollect- 
ing that on one or two occasions before, I had 
noticed him, at a distance, in the lonesome 
walks about the village, I passed into the cha- 
pel, sat down in my confession-box, and began 
the duties of the evening. A great number, as is 
usual on the approach of Christmas and Easter, 
were waiting to be heard, as we call it, in their 
turns ; and I could not change fast enough in 
my box for them, and open the slide of the 
little round orifice at either side, to listen alter- 
nately to the varied avowals of human frailty 
that craved my advice, my control, and finally, 
through my mouth, a conditional promise of 
pardon from my God. An hour might have 
been thus spent, when, chancing to look out 
through the slit in the curtain of my box, I 
recognized the tall and almost sublime figure 
of the stranger, leaning against one of the little 
rude props that supported the thatched roof of 
my humble chapel. From another prop, the 
weak light of a tin sconce, or lamp, fell upon 
his features, and allowed me to see their ex- 
pression ; and I thought I read upon his 
cloudy brow, and his rolling eye, and in his 
half-open and contorted mouth, the story of a 
bosom blackened with crime, torn with remorse, 



85& PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

and just beginning to work in the terrible 
labour of a first repentance. I could perceive 
that he eyed askance the humble crowds that, 
in the dreary twilight, knelt around him where 
he stood ; and, now and then, that his agitated 
glance followed those who came, some moving 
on their knees, to confess their burden of sin ; 
and those who, their ordeal over, returned from 
the confessional to the railing of the sanctuary 
to throw themselves, there, in aspirations of 
thanks to God, and of promises of future vir- 
tue. Having remarked him, for some time, 
I proceeded in my duty. About another hour 
elapsed before I thought I could properly spare 
time to pay him more attention, and a sweet 
little child of thirteen or fourteen, who went 
from me with permission to approach her first 
communion, had, accompanied by her father, 
also a penitent of the evening, gone to the 
sanctuary to complete their devotions ; when I 
was alarmed by a sudden noise and outcry, that 
spread among all the people of the chapel, 
and hastily stepping out of my box, I found 
the poor stranger just after flinging himself 
prostrate by the side of the child, while his 
frame shook, groans and sobs broke from his 
manly breast, and the glorious tears of a true 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 352. 

repentance ran down the backs of the hands 
with which he covered his face. Not unaffect- 
ed, myself, I raised him and held him in my 
arms, and whispered the words of sublime 
consolation my merciful and Almighty Mastei 
had commanded me to drop as so many drops 
of oil upon the torn heart of the remorseful sin- 
ner. My words seemed to overwhelm him with 
greater agony. He would have again fallen at 
my feet. I resisted his attempt. We retired 
from the wondering and sympathizing crowd, 
into the little sacristy at the back of the altar. 
That night — that moment, Collum McCarthy 
first sued for peace with his God ; but if there 
is more to be told, he must be the speaker." 

u There is more to be told, and he will be 
the speaker," repeated a low and broken voice ; 
and all looking up, saw the figure Redmond 
had just seen in his guardian's house, filling the 
blank of the square door- way of the room they 
occupied, and swaying, to and fro, as if, from 
physical weakness, or agitation, or both, the 
limbs refused their usual office. 

"Collum, Collum! brother, brother!" — ex- 
claimed Felix McCarthy, in a voice almost as 
broken and feeble ; he rose up as he spoke, and 
took a step towards the door; the wretched 



854 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

Collum, with a faint groan, stumbled over the 
stone threshold, and lay on the floor, at his 
brother's feet, prostrate, senseless, and bleeding 
in the temple from the violence of his heavy fall. 
They raised him, and bore him down stairs to the 
nearest of the squalid couches usually occupied 
by one of his old attendants. When he par- 
tially recovered, and found his hand in that of 
his brother, he uttered mournful cries, snatched 
the hand away, and again laid his head at 
Felix's feet. 

" Oh, Collum, my brother, my poor bro- 
ther !" resumed Felix, " why do you refuse my 
hand?" 

" You cannot, you never can say, i forgive 9 P 
murmured the unhappy man, as his face was 
hid on the floor. 

" I call, Collum ; brother, I can ; I have said 
the word ; I say it now ; and let you only say 
another word : say but that you can love me at 
last, and for the time to come, and we may yet 
be happy brothers together." 

Collum slowly raised himself, looked gradu- 
ally but steadfastly into the features of the 
speaker, then, clasping his hands, addressed him- 
self in joyful murmurs to Heaven, and finally 
embraced his brother's knees, while that bro- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 355 

ther put his arms round his body, and inclined 
a cheek to his. 

" The peace and pardon of the God of peace 
be with you, and dwell with you, my children," 
said the clergyman, kneeling. The old pirate, 
tears stealing down his iron cheeks, knelt also, 
and added an " amen," not unacceptable, per- 
haps, even after his life of sin, in his present 
situation, and with his sincere feelings. 

" The moment I left the child with Pratt, 
in the carriage," said Collum, as soon as he 
had gained the power of speaking, and ascer- 
tained from the words of those around him to 
what extent they wished him to speak : " I 
walked, with my bad companion, to the ship, 
that, at only a short distance from the little se&- 
coast village, awaited to bear us back to Eng- 
land. Oh, let me humbly, but earnestly re- 
quest you to believe that even then, although 
my evil nature had not permitted a thorough 
change, true sorrow and remorse weighed me 
down for the unnamable crime of which I 
thought myself guilty; and guilty I was and 
am : although a merciful Providence would 
not permit the murder, I was guilty to the full 
extent of intention. The sea was not calm 
when we embarked ; but I thought it smooth as 



856 PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 

glass, and I panted for the roaring and lash- 
ing waves that would lift our little vessel into 
the clouds, and dash it back again into the val- 
leys of ocean, and scourge and buffet us, as did 
the tumbling passions which assailed my ob- 
durate heart. I had my wish ; the storm came 4 
and came for an end at once more terrible and 
merciful than I had contemplated. During 
one dark day and darker night, we were driven 
from point to point around the shore of Ire- 
land ; until at last, upon some wild and almost 
desert part of the western coast, in the pro- 
vince of Connaught, I believe, our buffeted 
ship struck to pieces. It was near morning. I 
awoke to sense, lying among a pile of rocks, 
the partner of many of my crimes stretched by 
my side, while one of my arms grasped her hair. 
It seems I had rescued her ; though I did not 
and do not remember the circumstances. She 
recovered, too, pouring, forth curses the mo- 
ment she had breath to give them utterance. 
She was mad: terror, and bufferings against 
the rocks, with their results, had bewildered 
her; her leg and arm, and some of her ribs 
were shattered, and she suffered great pain. 
She cursed me as her destroyer, and a hundred 
times called on Heaven to shower down vep- 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 85^ 

geance on my head, and hell to open at our 
feet, and receive us together. She denounced 
me as the murderer of my brother, whom, by 
her ravings I now discovered, she had once 
fiercely loved ; and called on me to prepare for 
the eternal miseries that crime kept in store for 
me. Growing worse, she conjured up his spirit, 
and her hoarse screams, mixed with the hoarse 
roaring of the sea, and the rolling of her ma- 
niac eyes as she pointed him out among the 
grey rocks, or spoke to him to ensure maledic- 
tions to me, were horrible — in my bodily weak- 
ness and mental acknowledgments of all she 
said, they made me almost as mad as she was. 
Now and then she would furiously call on me 
to bring her water to cool her burning lips, and 
food for the hunger she only thought she felt ; 
but I could not move from her side ; my own 
thigh was sorely bruised, and I was unable to 
walk a step ; and when her demands were not 
fulfilled, the frantic wretch repeated her ter- 
rible blasphemies, until the marrow froze in my 
bones. Once, as the sunless day was nearly 
spent, she turned suddenly on her side, as we 
lay stretched together, glared into my eyes, 
snatched my arm, and attempted to put it to 
her teeth. About half way in the night after 



858 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

our wreck, she died, clinging close to me, and 
calling me with her to the place of torments she 
anticipated for herself. 

" I lay by her, until, in the darkness of that 
infernal night, the spirit of madness she had 
just breathed out, entered into me, and I was 
at last indeed as mad, and more accurst in my 
madness than the wretch I had survived. The 
crimes of which she but spoke, I felt ; and all 
her terrors and fancies came tenfold more vi- 
vidly to my diseased eye. The shade she had 
imagined was soon presented to me too; and the 
hell she raved of I also called up around me ; 
the booming of the sea turned into the roar of 
its flames. Towards morning I sank down, 
again senseless. 

" I was aroused by two fishermen, who lifted 
me up. Reason came back, but remorse was 
confirmed. They buried the body in the sand ; 
and then helped me to crawl towards their 
distant and humble cabin. On our way they 
found a» strongly clasped trunk, with a spring 
lid, which I knew to be mine ; they gave it into 
ray possession without a word. Under their 
roof I recovered from the contusion on my 
thigh, and gained strength to walk about and 
think. My mind took a vague resolve to go 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 859 

back to the village, in the neighbourhood of 
which I had left my brother's child, and there 
retire from the world, perhaps without disco- 
vering myself, or without claiming the estate 
I had purchased, and spend my life in watching 
him. I had firmly determined never to seek 
out rny old mates in England. In fact, consci- 
ence was weighing me to the earth, and already 
sapping the strength of my fierce heart, al- 
though I was not yet humbled into a true, full, 
and, as it ought to be, overwhelming view of 
the crime I had perpetrated. 

" I purchased a sailor's dress out of the con- 
tents of my trunk ; stuffed into the trunk 
my half Spanish dress, and brought it with 
me, by a secret conveyance, to the village 
spoken of. Avoiding the little inn where I had 
first met the agent, I took up my abode in one 
of even less consideration, on the outskirts of 
the village. It was of a Sunday evening that 
I reached the secluded place. Its humble 
people, men, women, and children, were walking 
about gaily, or laughing in groups at their 
doors. Peace and simplicity spread around me, 
and the contrast of my bosom grew blacker. I 
heard the chime of a little bell, and many of the 
villagers, young and old, hastened off to some 



360 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

particular point. Following them, I came to a 
lowly, thatched building, which, from the rude 
cross at one end, I recognized to be a Roman 
Catholic chapel, removed but a short distance 
from the Protestant church, that was formed 
out of part of the ruins of an old abbey, and 
both having a common burying-ground. The 
simple crowds entered the chapel ; I lurked in 
the church-yard ; and presently rose the vesper- 
chaunt, that in my boyish days was so familiar 
to my ears, and often to my tongue*: I thrilled 
from head to foot ; my pulses beat achingly ; 
my throat was pained ; I felt all the symptoms 
of coming tears ; but they were too darkly pent 
up to flow yet. That was the first moment, 
however, in which the first thought of religi- 
ous satisfaction for my sin glanced across my 
mind. 

" 1 returned to my lodging-house, and heard 
the landlady and some of her gossips speak 
about the great fortune that was newly come 
into Lawyer Pratt's hands, and of the supposed 
nephew he had sent to nurse at a neighbour's 
cabin. Next day, ascertaining the situation of 
the nurse's house, I walked out, and strolled 
about it. In some time a young married wo- 
man, carrying a child in her arms, crossed my 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 361 

path. From her prattle to the unconscious in- 
fant, I learned it was my brother's son. Stop- 
ping her, to ask a word about my way back to 
the village, I took an opportunity to approach 
the child. It stretched out its little arms to me. 
I shrunk from it in horror, and walked rapidly 
away. The parish priest just then appeared in 
view, riding along the road from his house, 
to administer spiritual comfort to some rela- 
tive of a poor man, who, weeping profusely, ran 
on at his side. An impulse seized me to wait 
till he should be coming back, and fling my- 
self at his feet. For this purpose I sauntered 
about the road ; the priest re-appeared ; I could 
not keep my resolution. 

" For a week I thus continued in a lethargy, 
if so it may be called, which, leaving me alive 
to all the tortures of my situation, would not 
permit an effort for relief. Every day I stole 
out, to the cabin where the child was at nurse, 
and waited for hours to catch a sight of it. At 
last came the Saturday night Mr. Fenelly has 
already spoken of. Without any summons from 
the chapel-bell, I saw the people going off, one 
by one, to the chapel. I recollected on what 
business. I recollected it was to prepare them- 
selves for meeting, with clean breasts, the anni» 

VOL. III. E 



362 PKTEB OF THE CASTLE. 

versary of the, day upon which the Saviour ap- 
peared among men, to shed his blood for the 
blackest sinner. I walked quickly in the foot- 
steps of the villagers : but, arrived at the cha- 
pel-door, could not enter. As I hesitated, the 
priest came towards the door; I saw his eye 
watching me, and I slunk back in terror. In 
some time a father came up, leading by the 
hand a beautiful girl. Ere they went into the 
chapel, he stooped down and kissed her cheek. 
I followed them. 

" I had been in great churches in great cities; 
I had heard the organ's peal echoing through 
the arched intricacies of fretted roofs and 
branching aisles and cloisters ; I had seen ho- 
mage done to God amid the blaze of a hundred 
lights, the fume of incense, and the pomp of 
ceremony ; but never did I feel the influence of 
religion so powerfully as in the dusk and the 
silence of this lowly, thatched chapel, and among 
the humble village crowds that knelt around 
me. There were no spectators here ; none come 
to look on, and go away unprofitably ; all were 
actors, — and all. were in earnest. I leaned 
against a wooden prop, and looked stealthily 
around me. The pain came again into my 
throat, and my breast swelled and swelled as if 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 368 

it would have burst. My eye sought the father 
and his innocent and beauteous child. They 
had placed themselves at different sides of the 
confession box* The father first knelt up and 
waited for his daughter. When she had ended 
her confession, they walked hand in hand to the 
rails, passing closely by me. He smiled; and 
as she looked up into his face, smiling too, tears 
swam in her truly angelic eyes.- Before this I 
had been much moved; now I was subdued. 
I tottered to the sanctuary, and there, falling by 
the girl's side, « Oh God P I cried, " let guilt 
sue for pardon in the company of innocence P — 
The priest came to me, and we were soon alone. 

" Twenty years, or my future life, if I should 
not live so long, was the term of the penance 
laid upon me. No matter what were the con- 
ditions of that penance, I did not deem them 
enough to expiate the deed I thought I had 
committed, and I added, by vow, pthers, which, 
through weakness and wandering of mind, I 
have since observed. Twenty years of loneliness 
and silence among men, while the bread of my 
existence was to be begged at the doors of the 
charitable. The product of the wealth, partly 
for which I had steeped my hands in a brother's 
blood, I for ever renounced. The usual com- 

b2 



364 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

forts of lodging and lying down, the show of 
dress, any thing by which a mark of equality 
with my fellows could be retained, was inter- 
dicted. I joyfully took up any burden of 
atonement ; joyfully, because, with the terrible 
reprehensions that impressed on me a full sense 
of my guilt, the sweet, sweet whispers of con- 
ditional pardon and mercy stole into my heart. 
Twenty years — a life, even if life could last 
thrice twenty years, was now nothing to me but 
the interval between crime and its pardon — be- 
tween misery and peace ! 

" Perhaps the excess of my feelings urged 
me to overstrain the terms according to which 
I could hope to be forgiven ; perhaps reason, 
then and afterwards, wavered in the combat 
of hopes and fears, of recollections and ter- 
rors, within me. That very night I left the 
village, and walked to this ruin which has since 
been my residence. Carrying with me the 
trunk that contained the dress in which you 
now see me, and the remaining money of which 
I stood possessed, I rooted a hole in the wall of 
the cell over head, and buried it from my sight 
or touch for ever. My sailor's clothes were 
worn until they fell in rags from my back, and . 
then other rags supplied them. While in the 



i PETER OF THE CASTLE; 365 

fisherman's hut, near where I had been ship- 
wrecked, and before my mind finally revolted 
at the idea of rejoining my former comrades, I 
had written a letter to the man I see here at 
my side, giving him an account of my interview 
with Pratt, and my disposal of the child : now, 
in accordance also with a promise made, I again 
wrote to him, taking a farewell, and admonish- 
ing him to turn from evil. My days, and the 
greater part of my nights, were spent in lowly 
prayers, or in contemplating the enormity of 
my crime, so that my soul might be moved to 
greater sorrow, or any occasional impatience 
of my lot absorbed in a sense of duty. But I 
was not always successful in obtaining the quiet 
that prayer should confer. Perhaps, too, hu- 
man nature sometimes grew stronger than my 
resolves ; or madness itself may have come to 
raise terrible battles in my brain and heart. It 
is certain that, in my most bitter solitude, I was 
not left untempted. Self-destruction crossed 
my thoughts more than once; and upon a 
night, five years after my seclusion, I rushed, 
screaming, to the river side, and plunged in. 
But Heaven again was merciful. Two old 
creatures, wanderers like myself, dragged me 
from the water; and constant visits from my 



866 PETE A OF THE CASTLE. 

adviser, ttieir watchfulness, and, in a degree, 
their society, commanded and permitted by him, 
saved me till this hour. 

" The question of the claim and birth of my 
brother's child did not fail to interest my most 
excellent counsellor. It was decided that, hay- 
ing sincerely entered into an atonement for my 
crime, I had no right to expose it to the world ; 
and if the boy could have his own without 
any avowal that might incur this chance, I was 
not to interfere. Time was therefore taken to 
watch Pratt's intentions. Notwithstanding the 
rumour of his possessing the estate in his own 
right, they seemed favourable. In a few years 
he married, and had a daughter, and people 
said he destined his ward to make her his wife. 
One evening I met the boy in his nurse's arms, 
in company with Pratt and his lady, and their 
own infant, and as I passed them unnoticed, 
certain expressions uted by them made me as- 
sured that the common report was well founded. 
The education he gave my nephew, as years 
rolled on, left no doubt It was with great 
sorrow, therefore, that a short time ago, I dis- 
covered Redmond's, or more properly, Juan's, 
disinclination to the proposed match. Wishing 
to give him a direction which would be for his 



PETEE OF THE CASTLE. 367 

own good, I often urged bim to a union with hie 
young and amiable friend; but in vain; his 
heart was bestowed on Rosalie D*ArnelL The 
occurrences of this day and night may show, 
however, that every thing has happened for the 
best. 

" I grow weak : I have been very ill for 
some days past ; the effort I made to visit Pratt 
was forced ; and now the sickness returns : I 

am, indeed, very feeble " he sunk on the 

couch upon which he had hitherto been sitting ; 
his brother and the priest sprang to support 
him. "It will be useless," he continued, 
" I have had the sense of coming death on me 

before this ; and now My lips and throat 

are parched; Jet any good Christian here go 
up to my little cell^and bring a drop of water 
to me for the love of God; it is in a little 
box * 

Cushneiche, saying he knew very well where 
it was, ran up the stairs. "Yes, v continued 
Collum ; *' and now, though I dare not and do 
not ask to have life shortened one hour, if I 
have not erred in my hopes, a blessed relief is 
at hand." 

" Collum," said Felix, " do not speak those 



368 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

words; your trials are over: you stand for- 
given upon earth and in Heaven; the future 
upon earth should be happy ; and it shall, if a 
brother's care and love can make it so ; cheer up ; 
if you have strength to walk to my house " 

" No, Felix/' interrupted the wretch, " that 
can never be; your forgiveness — your being 
alive to forgive me — is the greatest blessing; 
your fellowship I cannot, dare not court, even 
was there a promise of life to seek it. Oh, my 
soul shrinks at the thought ! How could I 
sit by your fire-side ? . How lookT into your 
face ? No, my brother, no ! — give your hand, 
again ; I ask that : and now one drop of water ; 

one drop for His sake who ." He was again 

silent ; Cushneiche appeared with the bottle ; 
as Felix stooped to put it to his mouth, he 
shuddered to touch his face, — a deathy perspira- 
tion spread over it. 

" Collum, "' he resumed, "you must leave this 
place ; I will send my servants to bear you out 
of it ; farewell but for a moment." 

" Stay," said Collum, faintly ; " if the priest 
is here — was he not here? My brain swims, 
my eyes fail — but I think he was ; — let him lay 
his hands on my head — and. though I cannot 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 369 

kneel, let him say the last words of pardon; 
and you, too, my brother, you-* " His utter- 
ance quite failed. Mr. Fenelly hastily pro- 
ceeded to discharge the duty demanded of him. 
Collum recovered a little, and as the clergyman 
had the sacrament with him, it was adminis- 
tered. All knelt in prayer : the tears and sobs 
of Felix only interrupting the solemn scene. At 
last there was a pause. 

" Does he live yet ?" asked Felix of the priest. 

" He does — and perhaps life is not in such 
great danger. Let us all exert ourselves for 
assistance. I will go home for some medicines 
of my own. This man can hasten to the village 
for the physician — and you, Sir, to your house, 
to summon your servants :— quick — do not he- 
sitate to leave him here. — Listen to the persons 
that now enter the castle— they will watch him 
as well or better than we can— come, Sir, come." 

Felix, the priest, and Cushneiche, left the 
apartment upon the separate errands Mr. Fe- 
nelly had specified. On the stairs they met 
the two old men, come back from a fruitless 
search after Collum, and already beginning to 
exclaim against the noise of intruders that had 
caught their ears. But a few words from the 
priest silenced them ; and, at his command, they 

b5 



STO PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

liobbled up to afford perhaps the last service to 
their old master. 

Cushneiche was the first to return to the 
castle, with the village physician. He found 
the apartment in which he had left Collum 
empty : neither he nor the old men were in it. 
He concluded that his brother had quickly 
arrived with the servants, and removed him. 
The priest reappeared, and took the same 
opinion. But immediately after, Felix M'Carty 
came into the room, followed by persons of his 
household, and disowned the proceeding they 
had attributed to him. Surprise now seized on 
all. They called out; the old echoes alone 
answered them. They went up to Padhre's 
cell ; it was also empty. The servants were dis- 
patched for lights, to explore more minutely. 

In the pause a new visitor was heard entering 
the ruin. It was Redmond. After the scene 
at Pratt's house, when his stupified thoughts 
had time to make associations, he concluded, al- 
though he had got no convincing view of the 
features, that the silent visitor could be no 
other than Padhre-naJlf bulh ; and, after an- 
other lapse of time spent in giving orders for 
the comforts of Ellen, and of her father too, he 
teld walked to the castle. For the scene that 



PETER OP THE CASTLE. 371 

awaited him in it he was little prepared ; 
and we are as little able to do it justice by a 
description. 

The father and son were roused from each 
other's embrace, by the appearance of the ser- 
vants with torches. Being briefly made ac- 
quainted with the urgent business in hand, 
Redmond assisted in the search for Collum. 
The cell above was again examined; no one 
appeared. Redmond had the curiosity to try 
for the secreted box of arms and treasure ; to 
his surprise it was not forthcoming. The ruin 
contained no other rooms except the ground- 
floor, which all knew to be blocked up, and 
which Redmond, from recent experience, was 
aware could not be approached. Upon a sup- 
position that the old men might have convey- 
ed their charge to one of the adjacent ruins, 
all were explored, but to no purpose. The 
grounds immediately about them and near to 
them, underwent a further search. Hours were 
thus fruitlessly spent ; the adjacent cabins were 
visited, and every inquiry made; and at last, 
as morning broke, Felix M'Carty, Redmond, 
the priest, and Cushneiche retired to Felix's 
house, leaving the servants to pursue a more 
minute and extensive investigation, and deter- 



372 PETEB OF THE CA8TLE. 

mined, themselves, to renew, in a few hours, an 
inquiry into the matter that so much confounded 
them. 

But before the time of exertion came, a letter 
was left at the avenue gate, which seemed to 
forbid as useless, further attempts to discover 
Coll urn's retreat. It was written by his own 
hand, as follows : — 

" I am not as near death as I believed I was; 
but were I to live a thousand years, I durst not, 
injured and excellent brother, think of again 
seeing your face. I told you as much in the 
castle, and now repeat my determination. Per- 
haps it would be the most precious part of my 
atonement ; but I pray to be saved from it. I 
can undergo any thing but that. Farewell for 
ever ! I ask you to visit my mendicant grave. 
No more. Be not disturbed about my disap- 
pearance, or my present fate. I am as well off 
as I deserve to be. And do not seek after me. 
Indeed, the search would be as vain to you as 
afflicting to me. How could you dream of my 
ever again mixing among men ? 

CoLLUM. ,,, 

This letter had not quite the effect of curb- 
ing Felix's and Redmond's anxiety to recover 



PETEtt OF THE CASTLE. 373 

their brother and uncle ; but still every inquiry 
proved useless. While Collum's friends knew 
not what to think, the country-people believed 
what they liked ; and the old rumour, that Pad- 
hre-na-Moulh had been watched for the good 
people by Daddy Clayton and his companion, 
now readily suggested the consistent story of 
his having been at last spirited away to some 
rath in the neighbourhood. Other accounts 
said, indeed, that this could scarcely be, as, now 
and then, in the middle of the night, visions of 
^two aged warders had been seen hobbling 
of their usual haunts. 




About a month from this time, the village 
school-master and schoolmistress gave their 
urchins a holiday, to witness a rare sight that 
the afternoon promised. Juan M'Carty and 
Rosalie D'Arnell were to proceed to church to 
be married. Mr. Fenelly, early in the morning, 
had performed the ceremony according to the 
usage of the Roman Catholic church, in satis- 
faction of Rosalie's scruples. The morning fol- 
lowing the visit of Collum, Mr. Pratt took his 
daughter out of the country, leaving Redmond 
in possession of his house and estate, and also 



874 PETER OF THE CASTLE 

leaving his feelings free with respect to pcor 
Ellen ; and, yielding to the youth's ardent en- 
treaties, Felix M'Carty, notwithstanding his un- 
certainty and affliction about the fate of his bro- 
ther, agreed, at the end of a month, to bless 
Redmond with Rosalie's hand. 

It was a clear, sunny day, although a cold 
one; and the village children, unloosed from 
their tasks, and their little nerves braced with 
the fine weather, came running and shouting 
into the lonesome church-yard, through an en- 
trance from the village opposite to that by 
which the bridal party was expected from the 
adjacent country. Their little pipes rose high 
in talk and laughter, and they had engaged in 
their accustomed frolics over the headstones, 
when, upon a sudden, they grew silent, and crowd- 
ed together in a corner, looking fearfully across 
the church-yard at two well-known old bug- 
bears, Daddy Clayton and his tall helpmate, 
who appeared silently employed in digging a 
grave. Their work was nearly done, for they 
often paused, and placing one hand on the 
small of the back, as if to relieve themselves 
from the effect of stooping and delving, and 
another to their eyes to shade off the sun, 
looked out in the direction of the road from 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 375 

the old castles, evidently expecting an arrival 
for which they stood nearly prepared. At last, 
with many weary groans, and some curses, 
they threw down their shovels, and sat under 
a drooping and leafless ash-tree, at the head of 
the open grave. 

<c Is it the inches iv him, Daddy, aroon ?* 
inquired Thomaus ; " for he 's a lenthy corpse.*' 

" Why, how long would you have id ? v que- 
ried his fellow-labourer ; " duv you think, for 
as fine a corpse as he makes, that it 's your own 
may-pole of a carcass is to be sth retched in id ?" 

Thomaus, rebuked, was silent. 

" I think I sees the boys bringin' him at 
last," resumed Daddy Clayton, as he again 
looked out — " an* they 're just in time, sure 
enough ;— for the bride an' bridegroom cums on 
by the other road." 

" How the quality 'ill wondher to be stop- 
ped in their pleasure, this day," remarked 
Thomaus. 

u Yes, lad," grinned the other ; " an' 
what questions they '11 be puttin' us about the 
place we hid him, when, if they had as much 
gumption as a blind horse, they ought to rason 
wid themsefs, an* know we couldn't take him 
far; or, for the matther o* that, (only them 



376 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

great ones are ^ver an* always thick in the 
skhull,) sure they wur behouldin' not to lave 
the place, at the first goin' off, widout rism* a 
stone or two from the bottom o* the stairs, any 
how ; an* there they'd have him, — an* us along 
wid him — if that 'ud do em any good." 

" I'd be sorry they tuck the thought, Daddy; 
Padhre was so much agin their ever clappin' 
another eye on him; more-betoken 1 that he 
gave us the good lob to hide him well. n 

" Ay, ay, lad, you may say that ; the lob he 
sent us for upstairs, 'ill give us somethin' to lave 
for a dacent wake an' a dacent berrin." 

u The same we giv' himsef, out of it, for as 
snug an* as close as we hid it from them that 
wasn't iv our own sort/' replied Thomaus. 

While they spoke, the more regular village 
sexton walked rapidly in from the village side, 
his spade and pick-axe on his shoulder, and be- 
gan to dig a second grave, close by the broad 
pathway that ran through the church-yard, to 
the .other entrance from the country. 

" Here 's more o' the welcome for the quality/ 
said Daddy Clayton, hobbling to the sexton. 
After some conversation with the man, he re- 
turned grinning to his seat under the ash tree, 
and resumed. *f A brave harse, wid white fea- 



V 



PETER OF THE CASTLE. 377 

thers is just come into the village, Thomaus, 
lad ; an' they gave the word to Jacky Spruchan 
to come off in no time, an* have the lodghV 
ready ; she 's on her th ravels from Dublin, we 
hear, an* left it to her death to lie out here, in 
the counthry air. Will you b'lieve me agin, 
whin I tell you the thruth ? Duv you remem- 
ber my words on the bridge, beyant ? 

" Crosh-Chreestha, is id her, in arnest ?" asked 
Thomaus, in much surprise. They were inter- 
rupted by the return of the little boys into the 
church-yard, at the different entrances, each 
party heralding two distinct processions. One 
was the bridal-equipages, friends, and attendants, 
— a number of village girls, dressed in white* 
walking two by two, at the side of the carriage 
which contained Rosalie and her father; the 
other was a train of ragged mendicants, some 
supporting, and the rest following the coffin of 
Collum M'Carty. 

The two concourses met and obstructed each 
other in the middle of the church-yard. Red- 
mond put his head out of his coach to demand 
the cause of the interruption, and the first thing 
that struck his eye was the name " Padhre-na- 
Moulh," painted black on the shining plate of 
the coffin-lid. 



978 FETE* OF THE CASTLE. 

A few words of explanation, rudely or sneer- 
ingly Touchsafed by Daddy Clayton, possessed 
him and his father of the true state of the case. 
There was but one course. While the beggars 
hurried their former brother to bis grave, and 
while Rosalie stopt in her carriage on the broad 
pathway, Felix M'Carty led his son, in his 
bridal clothes, to stand by till the coffin was 
lowered. This took some time : and ere the 
ceremony was quite over, the hearse of which 
Daddy Clayton had spoken, appeared coming 
from the village. The person who could have 
controlled this last interment, when he heard 
(as soon after his sudden arrival in the village, 
he did,) of the different kind of party some of 
his old friends had formed upon that day, per- 
severed, — half in the indifference and selfishness 
of grief, half in the bitter hope of causing pain, 
— in commanding an immediate progress to the 
church-yard : and his Dublin undertakers, un- 
affected by local feelings, at once obeyed his 
orders. 

Rosalie's carriage, having stopped by the side 
of the grave the sexton had dug, was obliged to 
draw back to give place to the hearse. Red- 
mond] and his father came from seeing the last 
sod laid over Collum, to extricate her out of 



PfitER OF THE CASTLE. 379 

her new embarrassment. At the first sight of 
the man who here stood, muffled in a mourning- 
cloak, at the head of the grave, Redmond started 
in horror, although scarcely a feature was visi- 
ble over the high cape of the cloak. He glanced 
at the white feathers of the hearse, and grasped 
his father's arm for support. The protectant 
clergyman, compelled into his duty, appeared 
to discharge his solemn office. The silver-fringed 
pall was lifted off the coffin, and " Ellen Pratt, 
aged 17," became legible. 

Rosalie caught, as soon as he, the name that 
smote him with indescribable consternation and 
sorrow, and, however it affected her, instantly 
stepped, in her white bridal dress, from her 
carriage. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She 
called together the village girls, who had volun- 
tarily come to do honour to her marriage, and 
some left the church-yard, while the rest stood, 
two by two, round the .hearse, each pair hold, 
ing between them a white handkerchief, in the 
usual way in which village and country girls in 
Ireland attend the burial of a deceased maiden 
companion. And now it was seen by all, that 
Rosalie meant they should, for this day, bestow 
at the grave of her poor rival the honours they 
had intended for her wedding. The girls she 



380 PETER OF THE CASTLE. 

had sent away, came back with a garland of the 
earliest flowers ; and she took off her own white 
ribbons to intersperse the flowers, according to 
custom, with the bunches they made. 

Redmond and she stood hand by hand, until 
the grave was raised ; their father, the villagers, 
young and old, and the crowd of mendicants, 
looking on. The garland was placed by Rosalie 
over Ellen ; and it was many months ere the 
bridal party of that morning returned to the 
church-yard, to complete the wedding in which 
they had been so mournfully interrupted. 



( 381 ) , 



POSTSCRIPT. 



A friendly critic has pointed out in the last 
chapter, a similarity between the incident of 
Collum throwing himself on his knees beside 
the girl in the chapel, and one to be found in 
the beautiful poem of " Paradise and the Peri." 
So soon as the critic spoke, we acknowledged 
the truth of his observation ; but not pleading 
guilty, at the same time, to an intended imi- 
tation, and unwilling to deprive the story of 
an incident that assisted it, we have ventured, 
with this avowal, to appeal to the indulgence 
of the reader. 



THE END. 



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ancient Legends of Germany, among which will be found the * Veritable 
History of the Execrable Sins and Punishment of Dr. Faustus.' The 
second contains a great diversity of popular local traditions, collected 
and narrated by Otmar, Gottschalck, Eberhardt, Busching, the brothers 
Grim, Lother, and La Molte Fouque* ; furnishing abundant food for 
the wonder and the delight of the reader. The third, presents us with 
specimens of the Tales of Musaeus and Schiller ; including, among 
those of the latter great writer, his Story of ' The Apparitionist !' The 
fourth volume contains selections from the National Novels of Tieck, 
Langbein, and Engel, chiefly characteristic of modern'manners and so- 
ciety in Germany. It will, we doubt not, be acknowledged, that Mr. 
Roscoe has accomplished his interesting, but laborous task, with great 
credit to his own skill and research ; and has produced one of the most 
valuable books to be found in the whole circle of fiction." — Morning 
Chronicle, 



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